Even with COVID-19 continuing to disrupt lives all over the world, there is a lot of misinformation and hesitation that surrounds vaccination. Amid all this, Wilmore Funeral Home’s ad campaign asking people not to get vaccinated is going viral.
A truck with the message, ‘Don’t get vaccinated’ was spotted driving around in North Carolina, USA, over the weekend. At first, it appeared to be an ad put up by anti-vaxxers. Soon, photos of the truck flooded social media. However, the real message was the opposite.
The billboard for Wilmore Funeral Home was trying to warn anti-vaxxers against putting their lives at risk, but in a sarcastic way. A phone number underneath the ad on the truck referred to Crenshaw Visions – an ad agency based in Lancaster, South Carolina.
After going viral on social media, people began to Google the firm to find out more about the ad. The link for Wilmore Funeral Home on the truck directed people to a website that simply says, “Get vaccinated now” with another line beneath it saying, “If not, see you soon.”
The healthcare agency said it was not responsible for the novel marketing strategy but is glad if the effort encourages at least a few people to get vaccinated, especially now that the cases were rising due to the Delta variant. Dr Arin Piramzadian, StarMed Healthcare’s Chief Medical Officer told the Charlotte Observer, “If this saves one person’s life by getting vaccinated, I’m 100% for it.”
Reiterating that they are unaware as to who paid for the truck ads, Piramzadian said: “If that statistic does not scare people… I’m not sure what does. Perhaps a dark humor aspect such as this one does catch someone’s attention.”
Later, WBTV identified the person behind the provocative message as David Oakley, the owner of BooneOakley advertising agency. Oakley stated that the agency has been around for two decades and specialises in doing work that “gets noticed, talked about and shared.” The news channel also confirmed that Wilmore Funeral Home, actually, does not exist.
“A lot of the advertisements that you see right now for pro-vaccine are very simple like, ‘get the shot’, ‘get vaccinated’. It’s very simple. We wanted to do something that saw things from a different perspective,” Oakley told WBTV.
Asked if they were worried that the campaign might face backlash, Oakley added: “I was a little bit worried before we started, but when I really think about it, if this advertisement gets one person vaccinated, it was worth it.”
(With inputs from The Indian Express).
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