Walgreens leverages John Legend’s star power to promote vaccinations

As weekly shipments of the COVID-19 vaccine continue to increase in the US, the other half of the battle in containing the outbreak is to convince the populace to get vaccinated, as roughly 25% of Americans are likely to refuse getting one. Pharmacy chain Walgreens is doing its part by teaming with music and film star John Legend for a new ad campaign called “This Is Our Shot.” The commercial focuses on reminding people that getting the vaccine means being able to once again do things that matter most, such as spending more time with friends and family and attending live concerts and events.

Walgreens, as of the beginning of April, had vaccinated over 8 million Americans so far, and the pharmacy hosts off-site clinics in more than 100 underserved communities in the country. Legend’s advocacy for racial equality was one of the key reasons the company decided to team up with the musician. Walgreens has launched other programs to accelerate vaccinations, including the Vaccine Equity Initiative to offer educational programs and partnerships within communities and churches. The company also partnered with Uber and the Chicago Urban League to provide free rides in communities where transportation is less accessible.

According to Interpret’s New Media Measure®, R&B and pop music rank among the top music genres listened to by Walgreens’ customers, so it’s likely that John Legend’s star power will have some influence. As a pharmacy, Walgreens plays a critical role in assisting with vaccination adoption, but it’s just the latest corporation to put its marketing might behind the vaccine effort. Google recently released an ad encouraging viewers to get vaccinated, called “Get Back to What You Love,” and the internet giant has emphasized a link in YouTube descriptions that directs viewers to a results page where they can find nearby vaccine options. Budweiser, too, just released a vaccine push called “Good Times Are Coming.”

Weary Americans can see the finish line. Smart marketing can help them cross it.