When the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that the pandemic was over, consumers quickly embraced the concept of “moving on.” As a result, COVID booster uptake was at an all-time low, even though COVID, much like the flu, is here to stay and is three times more deadly.
Facing the challenges of COVID fatigue and declining engagement with COVID content, the campaign objective was to introduce Spikevax, Moderna’s branded COVID product, to the US market as the choice vaccination for prevention against COVID-related illness. A primary focus was to reach the groups most heavily impacted by COVID including high-risk individuals, Spanish speakers, and seniors with authentic, relevant messages. Key campaign objectives included increasing awareness, driving brand engagement, and fostering branded intent to vaccinate, ultimately empowering consumers to make Spikevax a routine choice in preventative healthcare.
Despite the WHO and anthropologist findings of consumer fatigue around COVID-19, the harsh reality is there are 250-400 weekly COVID-related deaths. Our campaign aimed to shift the narrative from reactive protection to proactive routine, focusing on long-term health and prevention against COVID-related illness. Despite decreasing social media engagement year-over-year with COVID-specific content, our research revealed a continued interest in broader health topics, indicating a preference for trusted sources.
Our strategy centered around the #SpikevaxPartners, a diverse community of content creators representing six personas tailored to high-engagement categories: Plateful Parents (busy lifestyles), Eager Explorers (adventure lovers), Grand-Fluencers (health-conscious older adults), Mountain Movers (active health advocates), Educated Hustlers (professionals directly impacted by COVID; medical professionals, teachers, first responders, etc), and Sandwiched-Gen (those caring for multiple family generations).
Leveraging these six unique personas, each resonating with distinct micro-communities, allowed us to deliver messages that were not just heard but felt, ensuring a deeper, more personal connection with our audience. Our influencers weren't just voices; they were echoes of the communities they represented, making every interaction authentic and relatable.
An unprecedented campaign in scale for a pharmaceutical brand, in a market bound by strict regulations, this initiative became a platform for meaningful dialogue about COVID. Spikevax was positioned as an easy addition to a vaccination routine during the vaccination season. This campaign broke the mold, not by the constraints of its budget, but by the depth of its impact and ability to foster genuine connections.
We encouraged consumers to make preventative healthcare a part of everyday life through ‘habit stacking’, integrating Spikevax into regular health routines similar to flu shots. This was achieved by sharing relatable, authentic stories from each persona, creating a campaign that not only reached but resonated with our audience. This innovative approach encouraged health-conscious decisions, proving effective in engaging an audience tired of the traditional COVID narrative.
The campaign was brought to life by carefully selecting 150 creators for the #SpikevaxPartner Community based on specific criteria, including a resonance with at least one of the purposeful persona communities. The activation consisted of a three-phased messaging approach with creators releasing content on scheduled dates, starting with unbranded messaging to reignite the COVID conversation, moving into branded with the introduction of Spikevax, and finally encouraging creators to share their reasons for choosing Spikevax. Given the limitations of the regulated pharma environment, like the requirement to have comments off, the campaign leveraged community tactics, including having influencers strategically tag other #SpikevaxPartners to encourage authentic conversation and create a multi-touchpoint experience. Creators also shared interactive polls, creating engagement surrounding COVID within their communities.
Shortly following the launch of each of the three messaging pillars, paid media amplified the strongest content across the channels that indexed the highest within our target audience to support and extend the reach and value of Spikevax’s authentic messaging. Attention Units allowed us to closely monitor campaign performance on a level playing field, allowing for optimizations and benchmark tracking to improve campaign performance overall.
The campaign’s innovative approach surpassed benchmarks, indicating strong performance & positive audience response.
The campaign’s engagement results underscore its success in building the Spikevax brand. With 32,384,711 engagements, and an engagement rate of 6.44%, surpassing the benchmark by 484%, the campaign heightened awareness and fostered a strong connection with its audience. The above-benchmark average attention unit (AU) score of 29.65 indicated enhanced attention and resonance. The campaign's impact of 71,894 site visits, reflects heightened interest and a tangible shift in brand perception. By strategically utilizing influencers and diverse personas, the campaign effectively crafted an authentic narrative, reinforcing Spikevax as a trusted and preferred choice for preventative healthcare.