A Los Angeles entrepreneur is trying to change the minds of about 30% of Americans who oppose COVID-19 vaccines with a new public announcement campaign that uses real people who are seriously ill or have lost loved ones to the pandemic .
Explains Frank Kilpatrick, the entrepreneur:
"“A lot of people just can't be moved by data. If facts and figures moved us to change the way we think and behave, we would all be slim, healthy, and wealthy. We would eat right, exercise and not smoke. "”
Kilpatrick, who heads the nonprofit Ribbons for Research 501 (c) (3), has included a series of testimonials as part of his "Shoulda Got the Shot" campaign aimed at making the vaccine-resistant than the current scientific and (critics say) shame-based Approach that doesn't seem to work.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's vaccine tracker shows that only 53.9% of the total US population are fully vaccinated, which means they have received two shots of the two-dose vaccines developed by Pfizer
with German partner BioNTech
or one from Johnson & Johnsons
Single dose regimen. About 63.2% of Americans have had at least one injection.
But with an average of 1,827 deaths a day – the most since March, according to a New York Times tracker – the vaccination program is more urgent than ever.
Most of the 172,404 average daily new cases, 100,087 daily hospital admissions and deaths are unvaccinated, and the vaccines have been shown to be highly effective in preventing serious illness and death. Media reports of patients regretting their decision not to be vaccinated because they are critically ill in intensive care have increased in recent months.
"People are emotional beings," says Kilpatrick, founder of the Healthcare Communications Group and singer and songwriter. “While we tell ourselves that we base our life decisions on facts, the truth is that about 80% of our decisions are made with the heart and 20% with the mind. Connect data to something people both feel and think about, and they will act. "
The campaign includes TV and radio spots.
"We are targeting this campaign to a variety of underserved populations: politically polarized, lower-income, minority and rural groups," said Kilpatrick. "And, as mentioned earlier, we have developed a social media program aimed at younger, 'party hard'" populations who may feel invincible to infection. "
Also read: With more than 1,300 Americans dying from COVID every day, experts say punishing the unvaccinated works better than incentives
The campaign is deliberately apolitical and does not aim to educate its audience or to convince them with scientific arguments.
“These testimonials are raw, emotional and real. Viewers are more likely to trust these real people in ways they would never trust a politician or scientist. These are people who look and sound like them, ”Kilpatrick said.
Its overall goal is to save lives and help the US achieve what is known as herd immunity, the point where the virus no longer has enough hosts to spread any further. "And with the Delta variant raging and the potentially more virulent Mu variant increasingly causing concern, we cannot afford to wait," he said.
Kilpatrick's group also released a 60-second PSA and a 30-second version, as well as a 30-second commercial in Spanish.
See also: Biden aims to get 70% of the world's population vaccinated within one year as unvaccinated Americans continue to be responsible for most of the COVID cases and deaths