Leading Corporations and Foundations Come Together to Support National COVID-19 Vaccine Education Effort from the Ad Council and COVID Collaborative

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NEW YORK (Jan. 12, 2021) - The Ad Council today announced that the organization has raised $37 million of its $50 million goal for a national communications effort to increase confidence in vaccination against COVID-19. Developed in partnership with COVID Collaborative, the initiative will reach key audiences across the country through research-driven creative campaigns, strategic media placements, community outreach and trusted messenger engagement–representing one of the largest public education efforts in history.

Leading contributors to date include Bank of America, Facebook, General Motors, Google and YouTube, the Humana Foundation, NBCUniversal/Comcast, Salesforce, Verizon, Walgreens and Walmart. Significant contributions have also been provided by America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), the American Heart Association, the American Medical Association, Ford Motor Company, JPMorgan Chase, the New York Life Foundation, Stanley Black & Decker, Synchrony and Target.

"Our nation's recovery depends on widespread adoption of vaccination against COVID-19, which will require the Ad Council's most ambitious public education effort ever," said Lisa Sherman, President and CEO of the Ad Council. "We are so grateful to our generous funders for making it possible to reach millions of Americans and inspire confidence in these lifesaving vaccines."

"Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ad Council has moved incredibly quickly, rallying the marketing and media community to create and share urgent public health messages with the American people," said Linda Yaccarino, Board Chair of the Ad Council and Chairman, Global Advertising and Partnerships of NBCUniversal. "As our country enters the next, crucial phase of this crisis, I know our industry will once again answer the Ad Council's call, share in this responsibility, and offer their partnership and support."

Creative agencies Pereira O'Dell, JOY Collective, Alma and BeenThereDoneThat are working pro bono to develop creative assets. In light of systemic inequities that contribute to mistrust of vaccines among communities of color, special attention will be given to developing content tailored to reach and resonate with the Black and Hispanic communities. Dentsu Health, dentsu Americas' integrated health practice, worked pro bono to develop consumer insights and the national media strategy, informing creative development and providing a comprehensive placement framework for the forthcoming creative assets.

A critical part of the strategy includes developing coalitions and partnerships with leading non-profit, public health, civil rights, faith-based and community organizations. These efforts are being pursued together with COVID Collaborative's network, including the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum, Black Coalition Against COVID-19, NAACP, National Congress of American Indians, National Urban League, Morehouse School of Medicine and UnidosUS. Additional partners include the National Black Nurses Association, the National Hispanic Medical Association, the National Association of Hispanic Nurses and the National Medical Association.

The Ad Council is also working with Business Roundtable, the CDC Foundation, the de Beaumont Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, in partnership with Meteorite, to provide the business community with research-backed messaging, resources and programming to reach their employees and customers.

Additionally, the Ad Council and COVID Collaborative are sharing insights and resources to invite a wide range of communicators and trusted messengers to develop their own research-based vaccine education content. Earlier today, over 500 attendees virtually attended the Ad Council's Partner Strategy Summit, representing leading media companies and platforms, public health organizations, advertising agencies, community-based organizations and corporate partners. 

"Americans and their leading institutions always rally together in times of crisis," said John Bridgeland, Co-Founder and CEO of COVID Collaborative. "It is a difficult time in the life of the nation, and we are so grateful for the many corporations, associations and institutions that are supporting this critical campaign to engage Americans in their own recovery."

The campaign will be created in close partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which is vetting all content for accuracy. Additionally, COVID Collaborative is lending insights from its scientific experts to the effort. 

Since the pandemic was declared in March 2020, the Ad Council has mobilized the industry to launch an unprecedented, multi-pronged communications effort to combat COVID-19. Most recently, on December 29, the Ad Council and COVID Collaborative released informational videos to address healthcare providers' questions about COVID-19 vaccination, featuring Dr. Anthony Fauci and other representatives from 18 leading healthcare organizations. To date, the Ad Council's COVID-19 efforts have resulted in 38.9 billion impressions, $424.7 million in donated media value, and 31.8 million visits to Coronavirus.gov.

About dentsu 

Part of dentsu, dentsu is made up of nine leadership brands - Carat, dentsu X, iProspect, Isobar, dentsumcgarrybowen, Merkle, MKTG, Vizeum, Posterscope and supported by its specialist brands. Dentsu helps clients to win, keep and grow their best customers and achieve meaningful progress for their businesses. With best-in-class services and solutions in media, CXM, and creative, dentsu operates in over 145 markets worldwide with more than 48,000 dedicated specialists.

The Ad Council

The Ad Council has a long history of creating life-saving public service communications in times of national crisis, starting in the organization's earliest days during World War II to September 11th and natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy. Its deep relationships with media outlets, the creative community, issue experts and government leaders make the organization uniquely poised to quickly distribute life-saving information to millions of Americans.

The Ad Council is where creativity and causes converge. The non-profit organization brings together the most creative minds in advertising, media, technology and marketing to address many of the nation's most important causes. The Ad Council has created many of the most iconic campaigns in advertising history. Friends Don't Let Friends Drive Drunk. Smokey Bear. Love Has No Labels.

The Ad Council's innovative social good campaigns raise awareness, inspire action and save lives. To learn more, visit AdCouncil.org, follow the Ad Council's communities on Facebook and Twitter, and view the creative on YouTube.

COVID Collaborative

COVID Collaborative is a national assembly that has brought together leading experts and institutions across health, education, and the economy to turn the tide on the pandemic by supporting state and local officials.

The COVID Collaborative is chaired by former Governor and U.S. Senator Dirk Kempthorne (R-ID) and former Governor Deval Patrick (D-MA). It includes expertise from across Republican and Democratic Administrations at the federal, state and local levels, including former FDA Commissioners, CDC Directors, and U.S. Surgeon Generals; former U.S. Secretaries of Education, Homeland Security, and Health and Human Services; leading public health experts and institutions that span the country; the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and Business Roundtable; the NAACP, UnidosUS, and the National Congress of American Indians; the Skoll Foundation, The Allstate Foundation, and The Rockefeller Foundation; and associations representing those on the front lines, from the American Public Health Association to the Council of the Great City Schools.

For further information, please contact:

Jennifer Ferguson, Chief Communications Officer, dentsu Americas