With COVID-19 engulfing the world in terror, it was a race against time. Despite our best efforts of social distancing and lockdowns, the novel coronavirus was spreading at alarming rates. Our only hope to return to some sort of normalcy was a vaccine, but as history showed us, that could take years and years.
Not this time.
Pharma, led by scientists at Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and others, came to the rescue to create not one, not two but three highly effective vaccines in less than a year. And since the first vaccines were administered, the data is irrefutable: Unvaccinated individuals are 11 times more likely to die than vaccinated people and more than 10 times more likely to be hospitalized from COVID-19.
But in this era of misinformation, people required more than just raw statistics. Fortunately, pharma had a plan for that as well.
Pfizer’s Amy Rose, head of media relations, helped spearhead her firm’s vaccination charge, which involved elevating the scientists and celebrating their work. The company’s #ScienceWillWin campaign — executed through an integrated campaign featured in TV, print, digital, social and OOH, including the windows of Pfizer’s NYC headquarters — has galvanized the public, including portraying the virus as the common enemy and stressing that the entire industry was coalescing around the goal of defeating it. That narrative has served the industry well, coinciding with a bump in pharma sector reputation, and done much to build vaccine confidence.
At Moderna, Mike Mullette joined the company as VP of North America commercial operations last year and quickly took command of the marketing push in the U.S. Its recent Make It Yours awareness campaign includes a website to answer consumer questions as well as links to where people can find a vaccine location. Moderna is also trying out partnerships with the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks and MLB’s Boston Red Sox to encourage people to get vaccinated and protect their teammates.