Thanks to the world’s pharmaceutical and scientific communities, we now have a way to protect ourselves from COVID-19. But the road to immunity is fraught with challenges. People have conflicting views on vaccines, the companies producing them and the government overseeing their distribution. The guidelines governing who gets vaccinated, while closely regulated, will be hard to manage. Storage and dosage issues abound. And the supply chain is extremely complex.
What should we do?
The advertising industry, always skilled at promoting ideas and persuading action, are no strangers to public health education campaigns. In November of this year, they announced a $50M communications effort in partnership with the COVID Collaborative. They’ve called this their moonshot moment.
Central to any public education effort is insightful, moving, powerful creative that directly connects with the publics we’re serving. But just as important is establishing a distribution network to get the right messages to the right people. With COVID vaccines, there’s an added layer of complexity to message distribution: targeting people in priority order, in lock-step with vaccine availability, and with repeat messaging for follow up doses.
Data and technology can help.
One way to leverage data and technology quickly, and in a laser-focused way, to reach (and learn from) people eligible for vaccines is through programmatic media. Programmatic refers to the use of automated technology to buy advertising space, distribute advertising units and measure promotional impact. Programmatic media relies on the use of data and various algorithms to serve the right ad to target individuals in the right context and at a favorable price that is ‘bid on’ in real time. Programmatic media also delivers campaign feedback immediately, giving us insights into people’s behaviors that we can use to improve and optimize creative dynamically or in rapid improvement cycles.
With programmatic, vaccine manufacturers, distributors or public health entities can directly reach at-risk or eligible people with the message and modality that’s right for them.