COVID-19 vaccination rates among young people and teens are lower than their parents and grandparents, with 71% of U.S. residents ages 12 and older fully vaccinated, compared with 88% of those 65 or older (source: NY Times). There’s an ongoing need to reach this population and help give them accurate information in an engaging way, especially as a survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 78% of U.S. adults believe or are unsure about at least one false statement about COVID-19 vaccines (such as, “pregnant women should not get the COVID-19 vaccine,” or “the government is exaggerating the number of COVID-19 deaths COVID.”)
In November 2021, The Vaccine Confidence Project at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (VCP), YouTube, and Klick Health partnered to create a video series called Community Unity.Community Unity used a combination of timely social listening and creative execution to break through and resonate with audiences - particularly Gen Z - in a way other, more traditional PSA’s haven't.
Based on VCP’s deep insights into misinformation and the issues that compel vaccine-hesitant individuals, our ultimate goal was to equip people with accurate vaccine & health information they could trust - building their knowledge and confidence in vaccines to help end this pandemic.
The video topics were generated by using tools available on Google to pinpoint the most popular COVID-19 vaccine searches by country and language in May 2021, with an update in August 2021. Klick Health specifically used the Coronavirus Search Trends microsite, which looks at the past year's data and pulls out key insights by nation from Google. We also used video Google Trends and YouTube Search to further explore specific questions in native languages using Google translate. Key languages searched included English (UK and American), Spanish, French, German, Italian, Arabic, Hindi, Urdu, Korean, Japanese, Portuguese, and Brazilian Portuguese.
We vetted our analysis with experts at VCP and Google, and reviewed the topics in real-time as conditions of the pandemic changed. For instance, concerns about COVID variants, fertility, and long COVID gained traction as the project developed, so we added videos addressing those topics to the 12-episode series.
This unique partnership leveraged VCP’s trusted global public health and vaccine authority, YouTube’s reach, and Klick Health’s creative and communications expertise to modernize the traditional way of combating vaccine misinformation by using a fresh, conversational narrative and storytelling. Where the typical PSA features stoic experts answering questions, Community Unity uses ‘Gen-Z’ speak, fun animation, and pop culture references to connect with audiences in a more engaging way. Each of the 12 videos in the Community Unity series strategically focuses on answering one of the most Googled questions about COVID-19 vaccines.
As a zero-spend campaign, the following results were generated solely by organic engagement and earned media exposure:
The media outreach campaign generated 26 million press impressions, with international coverage in The London Evening Standard (UK), and The Medical News (AUS), along with outlets in Italy, France, South Africa, Kenya, The Philippines, Canada, and the U.S. From a marketing and health trade perspective, Community Unity was covered widely in outlets like Muse by CLIO, Endpoints News, and Medical Marketing + Media.
The Vaccine Confidence Project YouTube channel saw a +38% increase in subscribers as the videos were rolled out. In the first month of the campaign, the average daily viewers of the YouTube channel increased from 50 to more than 2,000 per day
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