How to Make Failing Vaccine Persuasion Campaigns Work

Real-Time data to aid vaccine persuasion

In President Biden’s first address to Congress, he painted a rosy picture of July 4th, depicting a nation where 70% of the population is fully vaccinated. Sadly, the fireworks only illuminated a country where under 50% of its citizens are fully vaccinated and a painful reality that COVID cases are back on the rise. Who’s to blame for failing vaccine persuasion effort?

Why Vaccine Persuasion is Failing: Bad Data, Tone-Deaf Creative, Sloppy Targeting

Call us crazy for blaming the marketing, but the fact is the government has enough vaccines to vaccinate every American. The problem isn’t logistics, it’s a lack of understanding and charisma.

The vaccine-hesitant population are clearly not hearing messages that speak to their own values deep in their hearts and minds; the type of messages that actually move people.

You also have to wonder: are these hesitant folks even being targeted with vaccine persuasion ads in the first place? And if persuasive ads are in fact making impressions, just how often are they seeing pro-vaccination ads in comparison to the anti-vaccination content they’re consuming organically? Given the vaccination rate, what do you think that ratio really looks like?

It’s been three months since the president’s first Congressional Address and we’re still 20% short of herd immunity. The vaccination marketing campaign needs a shot in the arm. Resonate has the needle.

How to use AI-driven data to bolster vaccination campaigns

This is precisely what we do as the leading AI-powered consumer intelligence company. We leverage proprietary, privacy-safe survey data and algorithmic behavioral models to understand Americans based on their evolving thoughts and feelings – including throughout the pandemic.

Our models let us uncover over 12,000 real-time data points on over 200 million online adult Americans. Our human-level data gets down to life stages, demographics, product and media preferences, political leanings, values, psychographics, and you guessed it…likelihood that they’ll get vaccinated, or why they won’t.

For example, Resonate Ignite Platform™ shows that right now there are roughly 46 million addressable (able to be served an ad) online American adults who are either vaccine hesitant or vaccine resistant. We know exactly who these people are, where they spend their time, and most importantly – the specific values and drivers behind every important life decision they make.

Don’t believe us? Download our Moving the Needle report for more data + vaccine persuasion tips

The bottom line: Resonate is best positioned to aid vaccine persuasion campaigns at the national or local level. We can help you launch a micro-targeted advertising campaign this week that reaches the vaccine hesitant and/or resistant audiences who actually need to see it, recommend research-driven messaging strategies that speak to them empathetically – not as part of a broad demographic, but as individual human beings with their own unique set of fears, hopes and dreams.

This is the same data-driven methodology and approach that we use to help thousands of state and federal political clients win campaigns, elect presidents and corporate clients win more customers than the competition, even when the gaps have seemed insurmountable. It works.

Data samples: analyzing vaccine-hesitant Americans in Arkansas and Los Angeles 

A recent CNN article drew an interesting comparison between Arkansas and Los Angeles. Arkansas is a red state with a low vaccination rate that is battling surging cases. Los Angeles is a blue county with a vaccination rate just north of the national average, but is experiencing case numbers not seen since April due to the millions of Angelenos who remain unvaccinated. Both places have a problem that needs new, and different, marketing.

Even the unsophisticated marketer understands that a vaccine persuasion campaign in Arkansas needs to look different than a campaign in Los Angeles. But where do you start? What precisely do you do or say differently? Different how?

It starts with data. You would need to know exactly who the vaccine skeptics are in both places and the values and drivers most important to them. Then you need to understand exactly where they spend their time so you can reach them where they are, pique their interest, and then stay on their radar until they get the final shot.

We did a deep dive on the vaccine skeptics in both Arkansas and Los Angeles. For Arkansas, we focus on the personal values, psychological drivers, and daily routines of vaccine skeptics that could inform the most persuasive ads.

For Los Angeles, we focus on where the vaccine skeptics spend most of their time consuming media to inform what platforms and channels the ads should be placed on.

What should vaccine persuasion ads look like for Arkansas vaccine skeptics?

Our models identified 908k Arkansas adults online who remain vaccine skeptics, compared to just over 1M Arkansas residents who have been fully vaccinated. In a state where the vaccination rate is only 34%, we found the only segment that can drive that percentage up.

vaccine persuasion campaigns_Arkansas

Source: the Resonate Ignite Platform™

Right off the bat, our data immediately told us that Arkansas vaccine skeptics—more than anything else—want to avoid upsetting or harming other people, and they care most about their family and friends. We didn’t make this up…sometimes the data just gives you a big softball.

What’s their third top personal value? The ability to make their own decisions.

Looking at their physiological drivers, we see religious devotion is what primarily moves them, and prayer is one of the most important parts of their day. What drives them psychologically? Trust from others.

What’s your ad in Arkansas for most vaccine skeptics? The message is grounded in faith, but also communicates that getting vaccinated is critical to not harming others, most importantly your own family and friends. The decision to get vaccinated is yours and yours alone, but make the right decision to protect and earn the trust of those who mean the most to you.

Where should vaccine persuasion ads be placed to catch the eyes of Los Angeles vaccine skeptics?

There are 4 million Angelinos who remain unvaccinated, and our models identified 3.4 million Los Angeles adults online who remain vaccine skeptics.

In LA, let’s see where these vaccine skeptics are consuming their media.

vaccine persuasion campaigns_los angeles

Source: the Resonate Ignite Platform™


As the data show, LA vaccine persuasion campaigns should start targeting these individuals on iTunes, Apple TV, Hulu, and Disney+. On cable, they should take to Univision and MTV. On social media, go to Instagram and Tik Tok. Oh and by the way, you don’t have to rebuild this audience or create a proxy – with Resonate, we can target this exact segment of LA-based vaccine skeptics.

Meet these people where they already are and use deep data to speak to their hearts and minds. Then keep showing up until they join the herd.

Give your vaccine persuasion campaign a boost with real-time, actionable data

The segments analyzed above are just a few of the thousands of micro-segmented audiences that we can help you analyze and target immediately.

What are your top issues? What audiences sympathetic to your cause do you need to reach, educate and/or drive to action? Where do you need to build support?

Whether it’s vaccine persuasion, a ballot initiative, or the midterms – let us help you win hearts and minds. Request a demo or give us a call at 855.855.4320.

Read more: Download our Moving the Needle report for more data + vaccine persuasion tips

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