The past months, social media campaignsGovernment-issued incentives, and even celebrity Instagram posts have all appealed to those eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Wilmore Funeral Home, apparently, you would really prefer didn’t getting vaccinated – it’s bad for business. The company has even gone so far as to protect its interests that it has created billboards instructing people not to get the vaccine.
OK, this is what there is Real going on. There is not a real Wilmore Funeral Home begging people not to take the picture. Instead, the ads around Charlotte, NC are part of a clever campaign by advertising agency BooneOakley to promote vaccinations. The agency partnered with StarMed Healthcare, which offers both vaccinations and COVID-19 testing, to raise awareness about the importance of vaccination.
Claire Oakley, the agency’s director of customer service, called the campaign a passion project, built from BooneOakley’s belief in vaccinations as a way out of the pandemic.
“We just felt that everything the vaccine is promoting is very simple, you know — ‘Get vaccinated, get the shot.’ It doesn’t seem to work,” she explains to Yahoo Life. “It’s all about disrupting the market, that’s our specialty. We started talking about, well, what’s the other perspective on this? Who benefits from it? “People who don’t get vaccinated? As morbid as this is, the reality is that funeral homes benefit because many unvaccinated people die. The facts are there. We’re not making it up.”
If you go to WilmoreFuneralHome.com, as it instructs you in the ad, it says, “Get vaccinated now. If not, see you soon.” The link will then take you to the StarMed website.Although the company conceived the campaign independently, StarMed, explains Oakley, was an obvious partner.Many BooneOakley employees, all of whom have been vaccinated, have used StarMed for their injections.
“When people go to StarMed’s site, they can read everything they need to know about the vaccines,” she says. “It has been approved by the FDA. It can save your life. Even if you get COVID and don’t die, you can spread it. This pandemic will be endless unless people protect themselves.”
The campaign seems to be working. Oakley says StarMed has seen 22 percent more appointments this week. The experience was “rewarding,” she says — and got the company thinking about possible future campaigns in space.
“In general, people have responded very positively,” she notes. “Of course there will always be certain people, like anti-vaxxers, who don’t appreciate it, or people who think it’s too provocative or disturbing. But so many people have reached out to us, especially from the medical community, to say, ‘I’m on the front lines. I’m exhausted. Thank you very much for helping us.’ ”