The sides of the black truck cruising downtown Charlotte, N.C., on Sunday offered contrarian advice to NFL fans headed to the game between the Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints: "Don't get vaccinated."
That's a message that might've resonated in a state where fewer than half of residents are fully vaccinated against Covid-19. That is, until they read the rest of the truck, which said, "Wilmore Funeral Home."
The truck was the work of Charlotte ad agency BooneOakley, which was looking for a way to make a point about getting jabbed. In truth, there is no Wilmore Funeral Home, and going to the URL given for its website takes you to the message, "Get vaccinated now. If not, see you soon." Clicking on that takes you to a local urgent care facility's vaccine signup.
"I just feel like conventional advertising is not working. Like, just regular messages that say 'Get the Shot' or 'Go Get Vaccinated' ... they just kind of blend in with everything else," agency director David Oakley told CNN. "We wanted to do something that saw it from a different perspective and kind of shocks people into thinking, 'Holy moly, man.'
"I think the reason we did it was because we want people to get vaccinated, and I believe even if just one person gets vaccinated because of that billboard, I give it a grand success. Just one person, it will be worth it to me."