Most people don’t think of Walmart as a go-to destination for flu shots. But as anticipation for the coming COVID-19 vaccine increased, Americans also got more eager to get annual flu shots. 

Walmart introduced a large and exquisitely orchestrated flu-shot education campaign, which our judges describe as a powerful public service, positioning them as a good deed we do for those around us.

In 2019, the retailer accounted for just 1.7% of total U.S. flu shots, and it wanted to raise that. But it recognized a larger opportunity in helping Americans reframe their thinking about vaccinations. Pre-
pandemic, only 40% to 50% of the population got flu shots regularly. Heading into 2020’s flu season, 70% said they wanted to vax up.

Through social listening, it learned that many consumers already felt noble. For example, Twitter users posted their “I got my flu shot” stickers as social currency badges, sharing pride in doing their part. But many got stalled by logistics — they believed getting the vaccine was the right thing to do but weren’t willing to sacrifice convenience to do it.

The campaign enabled Americans to get that “helper’s high” by highlighting how Walmart makes it easy to be a stronger member of your community.

Working with Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness, it built a campaign using social ads, videos, web banners, music streaming and weather-specific display ads. Assets featured personal stories reflecting Walmart customers all over the country — farmers, multi-generational families and factory workers. Paid channels steered users to Walmart’s online scheduler, resulting in a 30% increase in flu shots from the prior year.