The government has more than quadrupled its advertising spend for this year’s flu jab activity as it launches a £4m TV and out-of-home campaign to target 30 million people.

In what Public Health England says is its biggest flu campaign to date in the UK, the work aims to bust the myth that the flu virus is harmless.

The TV ad, “Just the flu” by M&C Saatchi, warns against the potential dangers of the virus, explaining that 11,000 people die from it every year.

The campaign is part of the NHS’ drive to achieve the highest uptake of the vaccine ever among eligible groups who can receive it for free, such as those aged 65 and over, those with long-term health conditions and pregnant women.

The government explained that this year’s campaign has been “planned to be highly flexible” as it targets the different demographics. It will monitor vaccine uptake among the target groups throughout the campaign and the media plan will be amended in areas where uptake is seen to be lower.

Media planning is being handled by Wavemaker, with Manning Gottlieb OMD working on the buying.

Alexia Clifford, director of marketing at Public Health England, said: “With the simultaneous risk of catching flu and Covid-19 this winter, this major national campaign has a more important job than ever to encourage those who are eligible to get vaccinated to protect themselves and their loved ones.

“The campaign has been designed to support the ambitious national flu vaccination programme, and to reach a newly expanded set of audiences, some of whom we haven’t communicated with through marketing activities before.”

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The government spent £940,000 on last year’s activity.



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