Sanofi wants older people to be wary of a looming threat in a trailer for the upcoming The Season — the flu season that is.
First teased in a video posted on YouTube last week, Sanofi is leaning into the horror film genre to drum up awareness for receiving a flu shot ahead of the upcoming influenza season, which is expected to be challenging due to the compounding nature COVID-19 and the respiratory syncytial virus.
To drive the message home that it’s important to schedule your annual flu shot, especially for those with chronic health conditions, the French drugmaker enlisted actor and rapper Ice-T to lead the campaign.
In the nearly five-minute trailer released Wednesday morning, Ice-T provides a menacing narration about how many people think a certain killer doesn’t exist or is harmless.
However, instead of a wolf or a monster, he is describing the flu and how it can result in significant health complications for people if they don’t protect themselves.
His message is timely given that the nation often endures difficult flu seasons and last year was no exception.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that there were between 300,000 to 650,000 hospitalizations related to the flu last year and between 19,000 to 58,000 deaths.
In the video, Ice-T encourages older adults to prepare for the flu season by speaking with their healthcare provider about getting a flu shot, including Sanofi’s Fluzone shot.
A press release promoting the campaign references the decision by the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices last year to grant preferential recommendation for the use of Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent vaccine for adults over the age of 65.
“As a rapper, actor, husband and father, I don’t get a lot of sick days, so it’s critical for me to get my flu shot every year,” Ice-T said in a statement. “Now that I’m 65, I’ve learned that the flu can potentially cause more complications for me, and that higher-dose flu shots may give me better protection. This is why I am so excited to be partnering with Sanofi so that I can help deliver this important public health message.”
The inclusion of Ice-T, most well-known for his groundbreaking rap career and two-decade tenure on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, headlines the latest flu vaccination campaign from Sanofi and the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists. The effort is also armed with a dedicated website and the hashtag #PrepareForTheSeason on social media.
The flu vaccine push comes weeks after Sanofi reiterated its support for meningitis awareness and those affected by the disease. The drugmaker debuted the ‘Meningitis Flag’ in conjunction with a handful of athletes ahead of next year’s Paralympic Games in Paris.