News Coronavirus From Qantas to Elton John: How these ads are helping to promote COVID-19 vaccination
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From Qantas to Elton John: How these ads are helping to promote COVID-19 vaccination

Qantas Covid-19 ad
Qantas' vaccination ad pulled on the heart strings of locked-down Australians. Photo: YouTube
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A tear-jerking Qantas ad that promotes COVID-19 vaccination went viral this week by offering Australians a glimpse of what they’re missing.

Those longing to travel and a sense of normality pushed the advertisement to the top of YouTube’s trending page in Australia.

Set to the Tones and I song, Fly Away, the ad appeals to Australians to get vaccinated so they can travel overseas again.

It shows a mother reminiscing about her childhood travels to Disneyland with hopes to relive them with her own children, a father longing to see his daughter, and a couple planning a destination wedding.

Each is seen getting their COVID-19 shot before boarding their long-dreamt of flights.

Australia’s former deputy chief health officer Nick Coatsworth was one of many Australians to applaud the campaign online, for its pro-vaccination advertising and heart-wrenching video.

“This is how you get people looking forward to what a vaccinated society looks like,” Dr Coatsworth wrote on Twitter on Tuesday.

However, Australia is late to the party when it comes to seeing high-quality promotions of COVID vaccination.

A recent Australian government ad screened on Australian free-to-air TV and online was criticised as “confronting”.

By contrast, some countries and companies have got it right.

New Zealand’s ‘metaphorical door to freedom’

Across the Tasman, the New Zealand government was an early adopter of positive promotional COVID vaccine campaigns.

In May, it released its Ka Kite, COVID advert, rallying New Zealanders to get vaccinated and ensure the virus doesn’t continue to plague people’s plans any more.

“You know what this is? It’s the metaphorical door to freedom,” says a smiling healthcare worker in the campaign, which encourages everyone in New Zealand aged 16 and over to get a jab.

“Ka Kite, COVID” means “see you, COVID” in the Maori language.

English star power leads call for vaccinated arms

Elton John and Michael Caine came together as part of a promotion with the United Kingdom National Health Service for a humorous 90-second clip to show others that getting a vaccine is easy and safe.

The government-funded commercial, which ran in February, features John pretending to audition for the role in the ad, before doing an impression of Caine.

“At this short notice you won’t find anyone bigger,” John says.

John and Caine, who are 74 and 88 respectively, had been vaccinated by the NHS and were filmed at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital.

“I wanted to take part in this film to help show people the benefits of getting vaccinated and how it helps protect ourselves and the people we love,” John said at the time in a statement about his participation in the ad.

Singapore knows its audience with 90s sitcom callbacks

An official campaign by the Singapore government was praised for being both funny and informative.

The campaign was praised in Singapore for being laden with ‘Singlish’ – Singapore’s distinctive creole of English, Chinese dialects, Malay and Tamil, and for appealing directly to its local audience.

The ad features Phua Chu Kang, the main character from a popular 1990s sitcom, singing a jingle to promote vaccinations.

The music video has been seen more than 1.5 million times on YouTube.

Gum ad celebrates post-lockdown joys

Set to Celine Dion’s rousing It’s All Coming Back to Me Now, this ad for chewing gum company Extra was praised for its lighthearted look at life after lockdown.

Released in May, the advert opens to the news of lockdown finally coming to an end, with dishevelled people streaming out into the streets to socialise once more.

The ad pokes fun at many of the pandemic pet-hates, like video calls, cleaning, and personal hygiene.

You’re never too old to be vaccinated

An advertisement by Heineken showing elderly people drinking and dancing the night away has gained significant traction since its release in July.

The ad features an elderly man dancing in the early hours of the morning, with the caption, “The night belongs to the vaccinated”.

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