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Budweiser, other brands urge people to get COVID vaccine

April 7, 2021 | 1:50pm | Updated April 7, 2021 | 1:50pm Enlarge Image Budweiser released an ad Wednesday called “Good Times are Coming.” YouTube Budweiser and other brands are urging customers to get the COVID-19 vaccine — a move they’re betting will also give their businesses a shot in the arm. Budweiser released an…

April 7, 2021 | 1: 50pm | Updated April 7, 2021 | 1: 50pm

Budweiser and other brands are urging customers to get the COVID-19 vaccine — a move they are betting will also give their companies a shot in the arm.

Budweiser published an advertisement Wednesday called”Good Times are Coming.” At the beginning, a display flashes the words”Remember this?” The ad goes on to show a series of still photographs of folks drinking beer together and having a good time.

The ad ends with a screen that says,”Good times are coming. Now we have a shot,” since Jimmy Durante’s”I’ll Be Seeing You” plays in the background.

The Bud place a part of a bigger push from the nonprofit Ad Council, which launched one of the biggest public education efforts in US history to get people familiar with taking the vaccine. 

The effort includes a series of advertisements featuring former presidents, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama and George W. Bush urging Americans to get vaccinated.

Companies such as Google, Walgreens, Target and NBCUniversal are likewise getting into the act with their particular Ad Council spots.

Earlier this week, Google released a now-viral ad called”Get back to what you love,” that was seen more than 6.5 million occasions on YouTube. It opens with emotional piano music, showing a Google search box with terms like”quarantine,””lockdown” and”school closings” being typed, with all the now-familiar sounds of cheering for initial responders in the backdrop.

The ad then changes to deleting the”sweat” part of”sweatpants” and altering the”virtual happy hour” to only”happy hour,” as the piano music speeds up. It ends with someone typing”covid vaccine near me.” 

Google’s ad, which was made in-house by its own Google Creative Lab, aired on national TV during the March Madness Final Four matches and started on YouTube in March.

Meanwhile, on Sunday, Walgreens established its campaign dubbed,”This is Our Shot,” with singer John Legend. The ad is meant to”remind Americans that the vaccine is the nation’s opportunity to help bring an end to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Walgreens said in a statement.

NBC News also launched a public service announcement, helping Americans determine if they’re qualified and helping them find a vaccination center through a website, PlanYourVaccine.com. Discount retailer Target said this week that it will donate $1 million to nonprofits offering discounted and free rides to vaccine appointments through Lyft.

This year, brands have been more tentative and careful about the kinds of ads they operate throughout the pandemic. This year’s Super Bowl saw a host of big-name perennial advertisers such as Budweiser opting out because of the environment and also the difficulty in striking the proper tone.

But the vaccine rollout gives manufacturers a chance to communicate purpose and optimism, based on Tim Calkins, a marketing professor at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

“There’s a big focus right now among companies and brands around the idea of having a bigger purpose than just making money,” Calkins told CNBC. “If you want to be seen as giving back and contributing to society, this is a pretty safe place to go.”

Once vaccine speeds ramp up, Calkins added that the shift in advertisements will go from enlightening to celebratory.

“It’s going to be all about celebration; the resumption of life. There’s going to be another big pivot coming up,” he explained. 

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