Roundup of the Best Covid Ads. But Who Wins?

Australia has a problem. Well, right now, we have a few. But one of our main problems is a surprisingly slow uptake of the vaccine. Admittedly there has been issues with availability and some mixed messages from both the media and our political leaders but, even accounting for this, there is a surprising amount of hesitancy, some may even say complacency, amongst certain groups.

Does it all come down to needing a really good marketing campaign? We take a look at the best Australia and the world has to provide.

1. "Get Vaxxed Baby", Kyle Sandilands, 2021

Why start with Kyle? You can't deny the man knows how to grab your attention. And that's what we want to do right now. Between this and the government sponsored ad, we felt you were more likely to keep scrolling with this catchy tune and in-your-face graphics. Does that mean this ad wins? You tell us!

2. "Arm Yourself", BMF for Australian Government Department of Health, 2021

BMF may have been facing a poison chalice taking on this brief, but regardless this advert has met a lacklustre response. Criticism ranges from unengaging to wildly frustrating at a time when access to vaccinations is limited for many.

3. "Don't Be Complacent", Carbon Media for Australian Government Department of Health, 2020

This advert was actually made last year, just in case an outbreak demanded stronger tactics. Whilst fear is a strong motivator, this advert seems to have missed the mark, being widely criticised both for the use of scare-tactics and for seeming inauthentic for using an actor. Footage of an actual covid patient may well have been more effective but could equally have been seen as insensitive. This may be a case of damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-dont.

4. "Back to Good Things",

Emotional, relatable, focusing on a positive future. This ad, created for a local state audience, shows a range of people from doctors to small businesses to family members, reminding us of everything we have to gain by being vaccinated. Is this the advert our national government should have run?

5. "Performance of a Lifetime", Victoria's Arts Council

A collaborative with a pretty impressive ensemble from Victoria's creative arts, this advert has a sprinkling of everything... wit, celebrity, gentle positive encouragement, dramatic flair... Of all the industry's and states to have been hit hardest by lockdowns, Victoria's Creative Arts community must surely be among the leading contenders. IMHO, this is a noble and moving communication.

So that's our round up from Australia. Which do you think was the best? And how do you think they compare to best of the rest from around the globe? Let's take a look...


Key hook: Celebrity (and being really long!)


Key hook: Pure bonkers catchiness


Key hook: Feelgood togetherness


Key hook: Same, but obviously cooler

New Zealand (my personal favourite)

Key hook: Oh just EVERYTHING! Humour, inclusiveness, Rocky-fight-Bring-it CTA. What more do you want?

And here's what we would do to improve the government's current "Arm Yourself" campaign to help motivate a response. Why do we believe this works? Borrowing the imagery from the famous Rosie Riveter poster imbues it with all the emotions the original creative, namely winning the war. The simple repositioning of the arm communicates strength and victory. And most importantly, our talent is smiling and looking the audience in the eye, creating a connection and a direct call to arms (we couldn't resist the pun!)

So that's it. The ads that are meant to change the world right now.

If you were campaign manager, which ad would you pick? What would you change? And can you guess which is our favourite? 🤔

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