New PSAs from the Ad Council and COVID Collaborative Target Young Adults and Parents

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Cover image for  article: New PSAs from the Ad Council and COVID Collaborative Target Young Adults and Parents

As the highly infectious Delta variant continues to sweep the nation -- and children, teens and young adults are back to in-person learning and events as COVID cases surge -- approximately one in four of all eligible Americans still have yet to get vaccinated against COVID-19. To help build further confidence among two critical populations, the Ad Council and COVID Collaborative today announced new PSAs speaking to young adults and to parents. With significant support from leading media platforms, influencers and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the dedicated efforts address the many questions young adults and parents continue to have about the vaccines, both for themselves and their families.

"We've come a long way thanks to the achievements of scientists developing the vaccines and our incredible partners that have been helping to educate the country on their efficacy," said Lisa Sherman, President and CEO of the Ad Council. "But the work is far from over. Through honest conversation, a light touch of humor and scientific facts, this new creative will help inspire millions across the country to feel more confident in the vaccines during a pivotal point in the pandemic."

According to new research from the Ad Council, nearly one in five young adults age 18-24 remain undecided about getting vaccinated as well one in five parents of kids 12-17 who are unsure about vaccinating their children against COVID-19. This is in comparison to about one in ten of the total adult population that is hesitant. The data also unveils unique barriers and trusted voices for both audiences. Young adults largely are seeking clarity about any perceived unknown long-term side effects and are motivated to get vaccinated by family and friends. Mostly seeking advice that the benefits of COVID-19 vaccination significantly decrease the risks of infection, parents find that pediatricians and other health care providers are the most trusted sources of information about COVID-19 vaccines.

To reach these key audiences, the Ad Council teamed up with creative agency Deutsch LA on a new campaign to inspire undecided young Americans ages 18-24 to protect themselves and their loved ones by educating themselves about COVID-19 and the vaccines. Additionally, creative agency Saatchi & Saatchi and AAP partnered with the Ad Council and COVID Collaborative to develop a series of PSAs geared toward parents of kids 12-17 years old that empowers them to make informed decisions about the vaccines for themselves and their families. Alan Cumming, John Lutz, Kellie Martin, Dr. Joe Park, Alyssa Milano, Alex Shibutani, Kerry Butler, Tracie Thoms, Isabella Gomez, Gary Whitta and June Diane Raphael have also lent their support to the effort, using their channels to further educate their fans about the vaccines.

"Children, teens and young adults have felt the burden of this pandemic not only in their social and emotional well-being as their lives have been put on hold, but also on their physical health as we see COVID cases and hospitalizations increasing every week," said AAP President Dr. Lee Savio Beers. "Pediatricians know that the COVID vaccine is an important tool in the toolbox to keep them healthy, but now it's getting particularly urgent. We urge parents and caregivers to contact their pediatrician or other health care provider to get their questions answered about the vaccine."

Young Adult PSA:

Developed by creative agency Deutsch LA, the PSA speaking to young adults brings together pairs of people who know and deeply care about one another -- one vaccinated and one vaccine-hesitant -- and captures their poignant interaction as they discuss their various differing viewpoints. Each conversation is unique, reframing difficult conversations from a shame-free place of love and empathy. The film's closing message -- "Let's make an informed decision. Together." -- underscores the notion of people coming together to hear each other out with mutual respect. Viewers are guided to for additional information and a conversation guide to aid in having their own discussions with loved ones about the vaccines.

"We wanted to start a conversation between people in loving relationships who happen to disagree on the COVID-19 vaccine," said Diego de la Maza, Executive Vice President, Head of Production, Deutsch LA. "Too often these conversations are contentious and between strangers. We wanted to see what would happen if we peeled away that noise and started in a place of empathy and vulnerability.

"While this certainly led to some heated moments on set, the conversations were noticeably different because they were grounded in love," he continued. "The outcome is a compilation of authentic personal moments that highlight the importance of arming yourself with the facts and making a decision that's right for you and your loved ones."

Parents PSA:

Creative agency Saatchi & Saatchi's emotional and humorous approach encourages parents of kids aged 12-17 to start thinking of the possibilities that could come from having a fully vaccinated family. Created with guidance from AAP, the new series of PSAs recognizes that many kids' lives have been put on hold since the start of the pandemic. But the sooner our kids are fully vaccinated, the sooner they can fully thrive again. Featuring user-generated videos of kids experiencing carefree joy in the time before the pandemic without the restrictions we've all come to adopt, when the exact moment of interaction is cut short, the PSAs remind parents that resuming moments like these starts when we protect our kids from COVID-19 and its variants. Viewers are encouraged to visit and speak to a pediatrician or health care provider. Additionally, as part of their contribution to the COVID-19 Vaccine Education Initiative, Adobe partnered with four diverse artists through the Adobe Creative Residency Community Fund to create digital, social and out-of-home (OOH) artwork to support the parent-focused PSAs.

Parents PSA:

"We've all been impacted by the ongoing pandemic, but when you really think about it, it's our kids who have been most affected," said Jason Schragger, Chief Creative Officer, Saatchi & Saatchi. "They have been cut off from their friends, playing sports and attending birthday parties and holiday gatherings. With the PSAs, we playfully remind parents of what our youth miss most and yearn to get back to, while encouraging them to talk with their health care provider about vaccinating children 12-17."

Major media partners, including AdTheorent, Amazon, Bustle Digital Group, Comcast NBCUniversal, Facebook, Fox, Google/YouTube, Intersection, PatientPoint, Philo, Pinterest, Reddit, Snap Inc., TikTok, The Trade Desk, Vice Media Group and WarnerMedia, among others, have committed to providing significant donated media time and space to run and amplify the new PSA assets. Per the Ad Council's model, the TV, digital and OOH creative will be distributed in the United States where it will run in donated media.

"Young adults and parents who are still hesitant about the vaccines need to be engaged with the latest information and compelling messaging to help make decisions to protect themselves and their children against COVID-19," said John Bridgeland, Co-Founder and CEO of the COVID Collaborative. "This creative campaign will inspire young adults to take action and build on a long tradition of parents engaging with their pediatricians to protect their children from disease."

Leading contributors to date include Amazon, Apple, Bank of America, Cisco, Comcast NBCUniversal, CVS Health, Facebook, General Motors, Google and YouTube, The Humana Foundation, Reckitt, Salesforce, Verizon, Walgreens and Walmart. Significant contributions have also been provided by Adobe, America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), the American Heart Association, the American Medical Association, BNY Mellon, Budweiser/Anheuser-Busch Foundation, Business Roundtable, Caterpillar Foundation, Citi, Ford Motor Company, Honeywell, JPMorgan Chase, Kaiser Permanente, Mastercard, the New York Life Foundation, Stanley Black & Decker, Synchrony, Target, Unilever, Wells Fargo and ViacomCBS.

For more information and answers to top questions about the COVID-19 vaccines, visit and

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