Live Entertainment industry launches #VAXTHENATION, fronted by Russel Howcroft

The Live Entertainment Industry has today launched its own vaccination campaign, under the guidance of veteran ad-man and radio host Russel Howcroft.

An industry collective, LIVE Alliance (Live Industry Venues + Entertainment) made up of agency Good One Creative, along with Live Nation, Mushroom Creative House, Bolster and AKA has released a TVC, with the message #VAXTHENATION to encourage grass-roots vaccine encouragement.

In an interview with Mumbrella, Howcroft spoke about the creative behind the campaign, as he partnered up with Good One, his son’s agency, following a noted lack of creative approaches to vaccination uptake.

“We had an ideas session off-the-back of a questioned posed to us by News Corp, as you’ll recall a few weeks ago there was a lot of energy going into the question ‘where are all the good ads?'”

Howcroft affirmed that the most important thing right now is just speeding up the rollout, and encouraging as many people to get vaccinated, as he said this campaign is simply a “call to action”, telling people to “hurry up”.

“It’s retailing vaccines, that’s really what this campaign is doing. It’s about getting vaccinated now. It’s not trying to win the argument about vaccines, it’s just trying to speed things up.”

The opportunity came about after Howcroft contacted Annabelle Herd, the CEO of ARIA to pitch the creative idea, with hopes to utilise the reach of the live entertainment industry to create grass roots urgency in uptake of the vaccine.

Russel Howcroft

The campaign is supported by some of Australia’s most famous entertainment figures, including Jimmy Barnes, Tim Minchin, Paul Kelly and Powderfinger, who have donated their song “My Happiness” for the campaigns use. More than 400 Australian performers have backed #VAXTHENATION.

This comes as the latest in a recent surge of vaccination campaigns, with Qantas, Virgin Australia, Woolworths, and Telstra all releasing vaccine related campaigns in the past two weeks. Howcroft said that as far as he is concerned, “every single advertiser needs to create a vaccine campaign”.

“It is in every single advertisers interest that everyone gets vaccinated. So if every ad that I see between now and November is a vaccine ad, then good.”

“Weight is absolutely going to play a role in getting this thing done quickly. It’s not really about hesitancy, it’s about speed.”

Howcroft called the task at hand, “somewhat of the creative war that’s occurring now”, as there are “lots of people with brilliant advertising skill, pointing that skill at this problem”, hoping that the result will be more great work.

It is not just corporates that have joined released work recently, as recent comms from the NSW Government was also some welcomed positivity, according to Howcroft.

With hopes that this, and other campaigns have a marked impact on the vaccine uptake, Howcroft said the thing he is most looking forward to in a COVID-free world is getting back out and experiencing some live music.

The campaign includes 60, 30 and 15 second spots which will air across channels Ten, Nine and Seven, complimented by an extensive paid digital and social campaign, as well as outdoor advertising and billboards in VIC, NSW and QLD.

Good One Creative also worked in partnership with. Hardhat on the advertising industry campaign, The Factsination, which last week rolled out a TVC following a social campaign last month.

The LIVE Alliance is also running a secondary campaign, which will focus on artist involvement, while also paying particular attention to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, regional and rural communities, and will see a series of bespoke content and strategic efforts launched to target and engage different communities, and demographics.

The initiative will be working with consultancy, Point Blank Group and AUM, across cross-cultural and cross-community engagement to highlight and bring cultural awareness and deliver the campaign in a culturally sensitive and ethical manner.


Client: The LIVE (Live Industry Venues + Entertainment) Alliance

Agency: Good One in collaboration with Russel Howcroft

Production: Tom Macdonald (Mushroom Creative House)

Song: ‘My Happiness’ by Powderfinger

Management: Paul Piticco (Secret Sounds)

Label: Universal

Publisher: Kobalt

Campaign Management: Jackie Antas (Live Nation), Michelle Lucia (Live Nation) and Reegan Stark (Mushroom Group)

Campaign Coordination: Emily Lambert (Secret Sounds)

PR and Artist Liaison: Samantha Clode (Mushroom Group)

Media: AKA/RyValMedia

Digital Lead: Paige X Cho. (Bolster)

Website: Joel Caust and Alex Iversen

Copywriter: Jonno Seidler

Cultural and Community Consultancy: Sian Van Der Muelen (Point Blank Group), and Chryss Carr and Cooper-Lily Nikora (AUM)


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