“This isn‘t an average year,“ an NHS nurse tells the viewer, in Public Health England (PHE) and NHS England‘s latest vaccination campaign. Too right.
In an average year, the flu virus would kill around about 11,000 people. This year, due to the ongoing pandemic, things are likely to be a lot worse. New research from PHE suggests the risk of death more than doubles for people testing positive for both the flu and Covid-19, compared to those only diagnosed with coronavirus.
Which is why PHE and NHS England have launched the biggest flu campaign in British history. With hopes of reaching 30 million people, the government has spent £4m on the TV and out-of-home (OOH) campaign, which is more than four times its annual spend on flu jab awareness.
Created by M&C Saatchi, the campaign works to undermine the common phrase, it‘s ‘just the flu‘ – busting the myth that the flu virus is harmless. Over a series of TV spots, ‘Just‘ unpacks the true, killer consequences of complications caused by flu, before pointing them towards the vaccination which should increase the chance of protection.
The campaign has been running in targeted channels since 5 October, but it is entering into a new phase today (26 October) taking on a broader approach to reach all those eligible for the free flu vaccination and upweighted advertising on TV, radio, OOH and digital channels to remind people not to dismiss the virus as ‘just the flu’.
The campaign was created in partnership with creative agency M&C Saatchi, with media planning by Wavemaker, media buying by Manning Gottlieb OMD, PR by Freuds and partnerships by 23Red. Specialist communications will be provided by Multicultural Marketing Consultancy (MMC) and BDS Communications, across BAME and disability audiences respectively.