Michigan Association
of United Ways

Increasing vaccination rates in Michigan’s most undervaccinated counties with storytelling, creative testing, & targeted digital advertising

The Goal

  • Find key persuadable unvaccinated audiences and target them with robust communication between July 16 and September 30, 2021, and find the messengers and messaging that could most effectively increase vaccination rates.
  • Find key persuadable unvaccinated audiences and target them with robust communication between July 16 and September 30, 2021, and find the messengers and messaging that could most effectively increase vaccination rates.
  • Use all tools available but especially underutilized tools like over the top television (OTT), streaming TV, digital, peer to peer texting, direct mail, and live phone calls to share accurate, culturally competent communication about COVID-19 vaccines.

The Goal

  • Find key persuadable unvaccinated audiences and target them with robust communication between July 16 and September 30, 2021, and find the messengers and messaging that could most effectively increase vaccination rates.
  • Find key persuadable unvaccinated audiences and target them with robust communication between July 16 and September 30, 2021, and find the messengers and messaging that could most effectively increase vaccination rates.
  • Use all tools available but especially underutilized tools like over the top television (OTT), streaming TV, digital, peer to peer texting, direct mail, and live phone calls to share accurate, culturally competent communication about COVID-19 vaccines.

Our Approach

Creative testing is an innovative advancement in the polling and testing process that allows us to put content in every stage of development in front of randomized control trial audiences of varying sizes based on the target market. We gain insights on the content impact and lift overall as well as differences in lift by age, gender, ethnicity, and several other demographic segments.

  1. We survey a representative sample
    of people within our target population.

  2. We collect demographic information from
    respondents and pre-screen them.

  3. We split respondents randomly into
    treatment and control groups, showing
    1 piece of creative to the treatment group.

  4. We ask questions to respondents after
    viewing the creative targeted towards
    understanding the effectiveness of
    the message.

 

Survey research and polling, while more difficult than in the past, are indispensable to the persuasion and message development process. Evidence continues to pile up that creative testing is an incredibly valuable tool for improving and further honing messages.


Most voters receive messages not over the phone, but rather in video form. One substantial value of creative testing is that it allows messages, styles, and stories to be tested in the medium they are received—video. Additionally, creative testing takes valuable polling information and extends the testing to message delivery style, message deliverer, and further allows testing on key messages in the real world. All of this allows us to fine-tune messages and target them at the most impacted audiences before beginning a media spend.

Creative testing is an innovative advancement in the polling and testing process that allows us to put content in every stage of development in front of randomized control trial audiences of varying sizes based on the target market. We gain insights on the content impact and lift overall as well as differences in lift by age, gender, ethnicity, and several other demographic segments.

  1. We survey a representative sample of people within our target population.

  2. We collect demographic information from respondents and pre-screen them.

  3. We split respondents randomly into treatment and control groups, showing one piece of creative to the treatment group.

  4. We ask questions to respondents after viewing the creative targeted towards understanding the effectiveness of the message.

Survey research and polling, while more difficult than in the past, are indispensable to the persuasion and message development process. Evidence continues to pile up that creative testing is an incredibly valuable tool for improving and further honing messages.


Most voters receive messages not over the phone, but rather in video form. One substantial value of creative testing is that it allows messages, styles, and stories to be tested in the medium they are received—video. Additionally, creative testing takes valuable polling information and extends the testing to message delivery style, message deliverer, and further allows testing on key messages in the real world. All of this allows us to fine-tune messages and target them at the most impacted audiences before beginning a media spend.

Videos With the
Greatest Impact

"Coach"

Top performer that lifted intention to get vaccinated by 7.1%

"Sheep"

Second top performer increased intention to get vaccinated by 5.6%

Our key findings are that funny and off-beat concepts penetrated—we found that folks were fatigued from 2 years of serious/sad/death-centered content. Light-hearted concepts broke through. Scare tactics have worn on people.

We designed and developed the Get Vaccinated Michigan website with the goal of increasing COVID-19 vaccination rates in the state of Michigan. The site serves as a key hub of information for those seeking more information about vaccinations, looking to schedule a vaccination, or looking to help others get vaccinated.

The main tool integrated with the website was the “Share Your Story” video testimonial collection tool, built using an innovative web tool called Capsule. With Capsule, the organization was able to capture dozens of videos from health care professionals sharing their view on why vaccinations are so important, and from a wide variety of people sharing their personal stories of why they chose to get vaccinated.

The site successfully highlighted stories from medical professionals and everyday people who wanted to spread the word about how getting vaccinated helped protect themselves, their patients, and their loved ones. It can sometimes be difficult to get regular folks to engage and upload personal stories like this – but this special combination of an emotionally charged topic and an easy-to-use, mobile-first platform resulted in high engagement and participation.


Dozens of Michiganders, including medical professionals, submitted videos of their personal vaccination stories through the website, adding to the authenticity and social proof of the campaign.

0
Michiganders visited
getvaccinatedmichigan.org


Dozens of Michiganders, including medical professionals, submitted videos of their personal vaccination stories through the website, adding to the authenticity and social proof of the campaign.

0
Michiganders visited getvaccinatedmichigan.org

Results

In short, targeted messaging worked

Switching to the “Coach” video with a modeled audience showed an 11.8% increase in the percent of eligible weekly residents receiving their first shot.

As the work started in July, Michigan was vaccinating just 3,000 new folks per day. As the program ramped up August 1, the rate grew to average 6,000 to 7,500 new folks per day or 1.5% of all eligible unvaccinated people.

In late September and early October, spending on program surged, daily new vaccinations reached 8,000 new folks per day, or 1.8% of those eligible. Finally, as the “Get Vaccinated, Michigan!” campaign ended in October, the daily new first shot rate fell to 3,000 folks per day.

Total Reach

0
highly targeted ad views or
impressions delivered
0
peer-to-peer text messages
were sent
0
direct mailers sent
0
phones dialed
0
highly targeted ad views or
impressions delivered
0
peer-to-peer text messages sent
0
direct mailers sent
0
phones dialed

Creative Test Results

% of Unvaccinated receiving 1st shot & United way ad spend

Vaccination Graph 2-01
  • As the program wrapped up, vaccinations decreased.
    Vaccinations among the eligible population increased
    during the duration of our program.

Awards Won

Gold

Digital - Public Affairs/ Issue Advocacy Division - Internet Advertising
Michigan Association of United Ways
MI United Way - “Coach"


Silver

Best Use of Mobile Technology
Michigan Association of United Ways
Get Vaccinated Michigan “Share Your Story” with Selfie Videos

Gold

Public Service Online Film,
Video & Sound
Michigan Association of United Ways
MI United Way - “Coach"


Silver

Public Service Online Film,
Video & Sound
Michigan Association of United Ways
MI United Way - "Personal Loss"

 

Bronze

Public Service Online Film,
Video & Sound
Michigan Association of United Ways
MI United Way - "Hot Vaxx Summer"

Best Depiction of Social
Distancing in a TV Ad,
Michigan Association of United Ways
MI United Way - "Hot Vaxx Summer"

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