Ad Council vaccine PSAs encourage parents and young adults to ‘make an informed decision, together’

The donated spots aim to get young people educated and vaccinated.

Ad Council vaccine PSAs encourage parents and young adults to ‘make an informed decision, together’

NEW YORK: As the Delta variant surges, tens of millions of eligible Americans remain unvaccinated and undecided. Among them are young people and parents who are hesitant to get their children vaccinated. 

To reach these two audiences, the Ad Council and COVID Collaborative, a conglomerate of experts, leaders and institutions in health, education and the economy, launched a batch of PSAs on Tuesday encouraging young adults and parents to “make informed decisions.” They’re also encouraging viewers to get their vaccine questions answered on

Created pro bono by advertising agency Deutsch LA, the Ad Council released a PSA that depicts young people having difficult conversations with loved ones about vaccine hesitancy. In the short film, several vaccinated people sat with unvaccinated loved ones in a studio and talked to each other about their differing viewpoints.

The PSA underscores the need for people to hear each other out with mutual respect and empathy, said Diego de la Maza, EVP and head of production at Deutsch LA. 

“A lot of the conversations that you see out in the world are so polarizing, and we leave very little room for conversations,” he said. “We approached this from a human standpoint, a place of [love and understanding].”

The film closes with the message, “Let’s make an informed decision. Together.” 

The PSA, which targets young adults, comes as nearly one in five people ages 18 to 24 are undecided about getting vaccinated, compared to one in 10 of the total adult population, according to a recent Ad Council survey. Per the survey, the hesitancy among young adults is largely fueled by perceived unknown long-term side effects. Most are motivated to get vaccinated by family and friends.

In addition to the short film, creative agency Saatchi & Saatchi and the American Academy of Pediatrics partnered with the Ad Council and COVID Collaborative pro-bono to develop a series of PSAs geared toward parents of children aged 12 to 17. 

The spots feature user-generated videos of joyful children spending time with one another pre-pandemic, without restrictions. Each of the videos stops just short of the interaction and “buffers.” A message then appears reminding parents that resuming those moments starts when they protect their children from COVID-19 and get them vaccinated. Viewers are encouraged to visit and speak to a pediatrician or healthcare provider for more information. 

“We are focused on providing access to information and resources while honoring and understanding and having empathy for the confusion and concern that is the marketplace,” said Heidi Arthur, chief campaign development officer at AdCouncil. 

In addition to the spots, Adobe partnered with the Ad Council to create digital, social media and out-of-home artwork targeting parents.

According to Ad Council data, one in five parents of children ages 12 to 17 are unsure about vaccinating their children against COVID-19, and most find pediatricians and other healthcare providers as the most trusted sources of information about COVID-19 vaccines.

COVID vaccine information on the dedicated microsite, which has been vetted with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, aims to address the most pressing concerns in the minds of parents and young adults, Arthur said. 

The ads will run across TV, digital and OOH in the U.S. in donated media from media partners including AdTheorent, Amazon, Bustle Digital Group, Comcast NBCUniversal, Facebook, FOX, Google and YouTube, Intersection, PatientPoint, Philo, Pinterest, Reddit, TikTok, The Trade Desk, Vice Media Group and WarnerMedia. 

The PSAs are part of the Ad Council and COVID Collaborative’s COVID-19 Vaccine Education Initiative, It's Up to You. As of late, the campaign has received more than $200 million in donated media support and publicity efforts. 

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