The Ad Council and COVID Collaborative have announced new PSAs as part of their COVID-19 Vaccine Education Initiative’s “It’s Up To You” campaign featuring former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter and former First Ladies Michelle Obama, Laura Bush, Hillary Clinton and Rosalynn Carter. The videos are designed to encourage all Americans to get answers to the top questions about the COVID-19 vaccines at GetVaccineAnswers.org and to get a vaccination when it’s available to them.
“Over the past year, the pandemic has taken an immeasurable toll on families all across the country and upended everyone’s lives,” said President Barack Obama. “Michelle and I got vaccinated against COVID-19 because we know it’s the best way to get the country back up and running again—and get us back to the moments we miss. We hope every American will do the same and get a vaccine as soon as it’s available to them. It could save your life.”
“Laura and I are grateful for the dedicated scientists and researchers who enabled safe and effective vaccines to be developed so quickly. As the country moves toward recovery and renewal, we look forward to seeing our families, friends, and even a baseball game. We hope everyone joins us in getting a vaccine when it’s available to them,” said President George W. Bush.
“America has always been at its best when we are looking out for one another and pulling together in common cause. Now, with the development of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines, we have the chance to rise to the moment again,” said President Bill Clinton. “I encourage every American to get vaccinated as soon as it becomes available to you—and to feel confident, as Hillary and I did when we got ours, that it will protect you and your loved ones, and bring us all one step closer to ending this pandemic.”
“Rosalynn and I are very happy to be vaccinated so, together with other public health measures, we can get back to church, see our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and eventually be active in our community again. I encourage everyone to get a vaccine when it’s their turn,” said President Jimmy Carter.
This project began in December 2020 and is being released as vaccines are becoming available to more Americans. The first of the PSAs, developed pro bono by creative agency Group SJR, aims to educate and empower Americans with information about the COVID-19 vaccines. In it, former Presidents Obama, Bush, Clinton and Carter discuss the moments they miss and are eager to get back to and features the First Ladies. The second PSA, developed pro bono by creative agency Pereira O’Dell, features Presidents Obama, Bush and Clinton speaking about the importance of COVID-19 vaccination, reminding Americans that the life-saving vaccines will protect individuals and those they love. In both PSAs, audiences are encouraged to visit GetVaccineAnswers.org to get answers to the top questions Americans have about the COVID-19 vaccines.
“Today marks one year since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic and, while there is a light at the end of the tunnel, there’s a lot of work still to be done to help our country recover. We’re grateful to Presidents Obama, Bush, Clinton and Carter and the First Ladies for coming together in this historic moment to encourage Americans to get the most accurate information on the vaccines so they can make the right decisions for themselves and their families,” said Lisa Sherman, President and CEO of the Ad Council.
According to Ad Council research fielded by Ipsos in February, approximately 40% of the American public remain undecided about getting a COVID-19 vaccination. Of that undecided population, only 56% say they feel confident they have enough information to guide their decision about getting a COVID-19 vaccination, compared to 96% of those already committed. Whether or not a vaccine is available to them, a majority of those undecided (73%) still want information to address their questions now, underlining the need for an urgent mass education initiative.
“In this pandemic, we need every American to help so that all Americans can recover,” said former Republican Governor Dirk Kempthorne and former Democratic Governor Deval Patrick, Co-Chairs of the COVID Collaborative. “These former Presidents and First Ladies have come together to show that each of us, regardless of political party, has a stake in beating this virus.”
The PSAs are a part of one of the largest public education campaigns in U.S. history and will appear nationwide in time and space donated by the media across TV and digital media platforms beginning this week.
The launch of this content follows the Ad Council and COVID Collaborative’s recent launch of the “It’s Up To You” initiative, which includes creative assets developed by Pereira O’Dell, JOY Collective, iHeartMedia, Group SJR, Values Partnerships and other partners to ensure the American public has the latest and most accurate information about the COVID-19 vaccines.
Vetted by experts at CDC, HHS and COVID Collaborative, content at GetVaccineAnswers.org is available in seven languages (English, Spanish, Simplified Chinese, Korean, Russian, Haitian Creole, and Vietnamese) and serves as an information hub to help consumers make an informed decision for themselves and their families about COVID-19 vaccination. Resources on the website will be continually updated as new information and data become available.
The Ad Council and COVID Collaborative have partnered to ensure public service messages reach deeply into local communities through trusted messengers and institutions. COVID Collaborative’s dissemination network reaches millions of Americans through its many associations representing health, education and the economy and the diversity of the United States, supported by the Skoll Foundation, Allstate Foundation, Kaiser Permanente, MCJ Amelior Foundation, Macy Foundation, Pure Edge, and Walton Family Foundation.
To date, the Ad Council has raised over $52 million for the communications effort to help turn the tide of the pandemic and provide critical education surrounding COVID-19 vaccination. Leading contributors to date include Amazon, Apple, Bank of America, Cisco, CVS Health, Facebook, General Motors, Google and YouTube, the Humana Foundation, NBCUniversal/Comcast, Salesforce, Verizon, Walgreens and Walmart. Significant contributions have also been provided by Adobe, America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), the American Heart Association, the American Medical Association, BNY Mellon, Business Roundtable, Citi, Ford Motor Company, Honeywell, JPMorgan Chase, the New York Life Foundation, Stanley Black & Decker, Synchrony, Target, Unilever, Wells Fargo and ViacomCBS.
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. To date, the Ad Council’s COVID-19 response efforts have resulted in 47 billion impressions, $445 million in donated media value, and nearly 33 million visits to Coronavirus.gov.