Budweiser’s “Good Times are Coming” ad.
Several brands are pushing consumers to get the Covid-19 vaccine and ads announcing a similar message: get the shot so we can get back to normal.
Budweiser published an ad on Wednesday entitled “Good Times are Coming”. It shows still images of people drinking beer together after saying “Do you remember this?” On the screen.
It ends with the language, “Good times are coming. Now we have a chance,” while Jimmy Durante plays “I’ll see you”.
Brands have a legitimate business interest in encouraging consumers to get the vaccine, but these campaigns are also a relatively safe way to use their platforms for the good of society.
“Certainly, many companies are very dependent on opening up the economy. They have a keen interest in increasing vaccination rates and getting back to normal,” said Tim Calkins, marketing professor at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. “If you’re a cruise line, a movie theater, or Coca-Cola, you need people who can get vaccinated so the economy can open up and business can get back up.”
But promoting vaccines is also a way of contributing to the common good without creating too much controversy.
“Companies and brands right now are very much focused on the idea of having something bigger than just making money,” he said. “If you want to be seen giving back and contributing to society, this is a pretty safe place,” he said
Calkins said such efforts are unlikely to affect the most hesitant people.
“But they could affect people who are in the bladder or who aren’t sure, and I think that’s where that can really affect,” he said.
Google, Walgreens, and others weigh in
The Budweiser effort is part of the larger “It’s Up to You” platform run by the nonprofit Ad Council, which has launched one of the largest public education efforts in US history to educate people on how to take the vaccine. The Ad Council has posted a number of spots, including some starring former presidents and first ladies, as well as major sports leagues.
Monica Rustgi, vice president of marketing at Budweiser, said the spot was made up of old user-generated content from the people who drink the beer.
“The light is finally at the end of the tunnel, so we figured those beer shared moments are really when it feels like humanity should be back to normal a bit,” she said. “It’s so close and the key to getting there is researching about the vaccine and making the choice.”
Rustgi said the spot, made with the David agency, will air mostly on digital platforms, but could expand to television if the news gets a response.
Other big brands like Walgreens and Google have posted similar ads for vaccines.
Google recently posted a spot called “Get Back to What You Love,” which was viewed more than 6 million times on YouTube. A search box appears with terms such as “quarantine” and “lock”. Then the “sweat” part of “sweatpants” is deleted and the “virtual happy hour” is changed to “happy hour”. It ends with someone typing in “Covid vaccine near me”.
Google’s spot, created in-house by its Google Creative Lab, aired on national television during the March Madness Final Four games and premiered on YouTube in March.
Walgreens launched a campaign entitled “This is Our Shot” with singer John Legend on Sunday to “remind Americans that the vaccine is the nation’s opportunity to end the COVID-19 pandemic”.
Other companies offer incentives or opportunities to help consumers get their vaccines. Target said this week it will donate $ 1 million to nonprofits that offer free and discounted rides to vaccine appointments through a Lyft program. E-commerce startup Drop Technologies announced that it will be providing consumer credit to restaurants and retailers if they take a selfie while they are vaccinated.
Calkins said vaccine marketing will be noticeably leaner than what we’ve seen before.
“The pandemic has not been marked by great marketing so far,” he said. “We assume communication will be from health professionals with smaller budgets and [who] You don’t dive into the world of marketing every day, but into a completely different scenario, where different organizations get involved, have large budgets and know how marketing works. ”
As soon as vaccination rates really rise, Calkins expects the advertising to be postponed again quickly.
“It will all be about the celebration; the resumption of life. There will be another big fulcrum,” he said.