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Ad Council Webby Awards

The message for our overarching campaign “It’s Up To You” was simple but the strategy was complex. With one objective to address the segment of the market that was vaccine hesitant, about 40% of the American population, our message had to resound with people in a way that allowed them to be heard and provided assurances that it was ok to have questions about the vaccine. So, we created one overarching platform that included dozens of targeted campaigns in order to reach very targeted segments including Blacks, Latin, rural, Evangelical and young adults with a message about making choices based on fact in a way that was not judgmental.

Best Cause Related Campaign in Advertising

"It's Up To You" was a strategic response to creating a thoughtful, empathetic, broad-reaching and, simultaneously very concentrated campaign that was necessary to encourage Americans who were skeptical about getting vaccinated to understand more about it. But this was not simply a call to action to get the shot. It was a call to action to save American lives. “It's Up To You” has worked because it was able to convey that getting vaccinated, like any health-related decision, is a personal choice. But simultaneously, the overarching platform and related campaigns, encouraged people to get vaccinated because the facts showed it was the most effective way to slow the spread of COVID-19. We were able to reach the skeptics with authenticity and credibility, assuring them that it's ok to have questions, and that has the answers to help them make a sound decision. The simple message was executed through dozens of campaigns, and all creative was continually updated based on news developments and evolving hesitancy rates among specific communities. We did this through promotion on air (broadcast, radio, online) and on the ground with a deeply-entrenched civic outreach program in which trusted local leaders help spread our message in their communities. The sheer magnitude of partners (300), pieces of content (more than 1,000), target audiences (more than a dozen), coupled with a blazing fast turnaround time amid daily-changing while lives were at stake makes "It's Up To You" the Ad Council's biggest and most important education initiative in its history.

Best Cause Related Campaign in PR

The Ad Council is wired for crisis and have responded to major social, economic, cultural and health challenges of the past eight decades, from WWII to race riots, from 9/11 to Hurricane Katrina. When things get tough, the industry turns to the Ad Council to volunteer their services, talents and resources. We know how to leverage the good will and abilities of others to truly create exponential impact. In the world of public education, the responsibility to educate Americans who were hesitant about the vaccine in a way that could unite rather than divide them was a responsibility we knew we could handle with the help from our partners. When the vaccinations to combat Covid-19 became imminent, the team needed to harness the institutional knowledge of all of its previous work and embrace an unprecedented approach that could work across geographic, generational, political, racial and economic lines in order to help reduce vaccination hesitancy, which as of June, was as high as 26.7% in some parts of the U.S. Superb project management, thoughtful creative execution, strategic use of partnerships + a wide-ranging effective media strategy have made "It's Up To You" one of the most influential factors in our nation to reduce vaccination hesitancy. The initiative spoke for itself with 52 billion (yes, billion) earned media impressions.