Americans Support Branded COVID-19 Vaccine PSAs

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Americans can expect to see a wide range of COVID-19 vaccine education campaigns sponsored by The Ad Council, corporate brands, celebrities, faith leaders, medical experts, and more as part of one of the largest public education efforts in U.S. history — and Americans appear welcoming toward it. A recent study by The Harris Poll on behalf of Morning Brew finds Americans largely support brands and celebrities creating and sponsoring COVID-19 vaccine education via PSAs.

Overall, 71% of Americans support the practice, with Hispanics (82%) and African Americans (73%) giving their support more often than White Americans (67%).

Such support may stem from the fact that three-quarters (73%) of Americans wish they had more information about the COVID-19 vaccine. People most want to know how safe the vaccine is (41%), how effective the vaccine is (34%), and the timelines for when more people will be eligible to receive vaccines (28%).

Naturally, there are a variety of channels companies can use to reach people with vaccine PSAs. Cable TV is Americans’ medium of choice for brand-sponsored PSAs (36%), followed by social media (27%). Perhaps due to income constraints and ease of access, Americans with less education are more likely to prefer seeing this information on social media (32% of those with a high school degree or less vs. 22% of all Americans and 27% of college graduates). Only 8% of Americans say they most want to see these PSAs on streaming platforms such as Hulu, Amazon Prime, or Peacock.

Popular, big tech companies appear to be the most-desired and most likely to be effective brands for sharing vaccine information according to Americans. Supporters of brand-sponsored vaccine PSAs most want to see ads sponsored by Google (59%), Facebook (55%), Apple (52%), and Walmart (52%) participating in The Ad Council’s “It’s Up To You” campaign. They’re less interested in seeing PSAs from Twitch (17%), Adobe (15%), Salesforce (12%), and Hellman’s (11%). This may be because big tech company brands tend to appeal to and be used by much broader audiences than gaming platforms and professional, business-oriented software.

Additionally, supporters of brand-sponsored COVID-19 vaccine PSAs think ads by Google (87%), Facebook (82%), Walmart (81%), and Twitter (76%) would be somewhat or very effective at getting more Americans vaccinated.

There may be opportunities for CPG brands, too, depending on how wide-reaching the brand is. While only 44% of those who support brand-sponsored COVID-19 vaccine PSAs think a Hellman’s PSA would be at least somewhat effective at getting more Americans vaccinated, 89% of these supporters say Dove’s PSA would be at least somewhat effective in getting more Americans vaccinated.

Aside from brands, social media influencers and celebrities may remain an underutilized resource for driving trust in the vaccine. Only 30% of Americans report seeing social media influencers or celebrities they follow posting about the vaccine on social media this year. However, 50% of Americans say that seeing these types of posts have made them more likely to trust the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine. Despite the varying opinions on the vaccine by celebrities and key opinion leaders, only one in five influencer followers (22%) say influencer and celebrity posts about the vaccine have made them trust the vaccine less.

This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of Morning Brew on March 1, 2021, among 1,034 U.S. adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online. For more information on methodology, please contact Dami Rosanwo.

Download full data here.