Got a Case of the COVID-19 Marketing “Scaries?” ‘Use of Fear Can Actually Work’
The government has started using scare tactics in newly released advertisements to market the COVID-19 vaccine and Americans are eating it up. According to CNN, the new commercials are singing a different tune compared to past advertisements that pushed a positive message. The previous advertisements highlighted how getting vaccinated is the easiest way to get back to a normal life again and that the vaccine helps protect members of the community. In contrast, the new advertisements focus on the dire consequences of not getting the vaccine. In the meantime, little to no effort goes into helping the American public understand natural immunity nor the benefits of early-onset care.
Quarter Billion Ad Campaign
Recently the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) embarked on a $250 million HHS COVID-19 ad campaign to educate the public about the consequences of avoiding COVID-19 vaccination. Several new ads are distributed across various media channels from social media to mainstream media such as CNN. The ads include heads of some of the largest health systems in the country
Seeking to draw out first-person experience the campaign’s sponsors seek to scare the other 60-70 million unvaccinated into the clinic for the jab.
“When you pair that with optimism and a way to take action — vaccination — to avoid the negative consequences, you can really make a positive impact,” a Senior Official with the US Department of Health and Human Services who was involved with the ad campaign told CNN.
President and CEO of the Kaiser Family Foundation Drew Altman said that real experiences have a greater ability to move people compared to informational advertising.
“We believe these first-person accounts of people who have experienced COVID first-hand can really underscore the danger that COVID-19 poses,” the HHS official told CNN. “[It’s] really changing the messenger. We’re letting real people tell their own stories in their own words.”
In a bid to elicit a faster response from more people, the new advertisements include videos that were posted on social media accounts by an intensive care nurse and two COVID-19 survivors.
Terrell from St. Louis was one man featured in the video that survived COVID-19 and states that he was given a 5% chance of survival and that he had been in the hospital for 76 days. Kole from Monett, Missouri was the second survivor featured in the advertisement who said that he contracted COVID-19 two months prior, and nothing has been the same since. The ICU nurse named Felicia from Shreveport, Louisiana teared up as she spoke about her experiences caring for COVID-19 patients saying that she is seeing people her age and younger dying due to the Delta variant, told by CNN.
Public health campaigns are stuck with the choice of either displaying the vaccination benefits or hitting it home by focusing on the consequences of not vaccinating, as told by CNN.
“We have to make sure that if we’re putting a piece of creative information out into the world, that we’re not going to make the situation worse,” the HHS official told CNN. “As people are making up their mind about something, the use of fear can actually work both ways.”
“I think this resonates more than ‘let’s sing kumbaya together and go to a concert together,’ CEO of the National Association of County and City Health Officials Lori Freeman said. “It’s a better approach to say ‘this is what you need to do to keep yourself alive’ rather than ‘this is how to help the world.’ “
TrialSite suggests that vaccination is critical, especially for cohorts at risk. But also, just as vital are investments in early treatment. What concerns many across America is the unilateral focus on vaccination as the only approach that can work. Several prominent scientists suggest the current vaccines are “leaky” and won’t protect everyone all the time. Moreover, a combination of leaky vaccine products and virulent highly transmissible Delta variant overpower the vaccines, hence the need for booster shots. In the case of Johnson and Johnson that can be just two months after the first shot for what is supposed to be a one-shot vaccine!
The level of bias in the system is noticeable. Either focus solely on vaccination—including forced (coerced) mandates and leave early care to select pharmaceutical companies and their partners in the NIH. Too many smart, critically thinking people know something is off here. Why is there no study of natural immunity? Why is there so much resistance to probes into adverse events? Why was there such an orchestrated and concerted effort to discredit ivermectin and other approaches under investigation? Why is the current POTUS stalling on any serious investigation into the virus origins? These questions need to be addressed.