Meck County to launch nearly $500,000 COVID-19 vaccine awareness ad campaign

MECKLENBURG COUNTY, N.C. — Mecklenburg County officials are launching a new ad campaign to target underrepresented, disproportionately impacted, hesitant and most at-risk residents with information about how, when and where they can get a COVID-19 vaccine.

The county is investing $456,857 in the effort. Last year, the county launched a similar media campaign focused on masks that resulted in 55 million impressions.

“I certainly am hoping that the campaign is going to go so well that they are going to come back and ask us to invest even more because we are finding we are getting even more penetration in these hard to reach areas,” Commissioner Mark Jerrell said.

The new ad campaign, “Count on Me Meck NC,” will be hard to miss. The county will partner with small- and minority-owned businesses to share key messages with their networks. Examples of businesses the county may partner with include food trucks and barber shops.

The county also intends to purchase church bulletin advertisements, and is pursuing a “gospel station takeover.” For eight weeks, the county plans to run a campaign on Praise 100.9, ending with a Saturday and Sunday “gospel takeover,” which will feature a hotline number for people to call and ask questions about the vaccine.

In addition to radio and TV advertisements, the county is planning to advertise on streaming services like Pandora and Spotify. The 12-week campaign will target listeners of numerous genres, including R&B, Hip-Hop, Funk, Dance, House and Pop, Latin, Reggaeton, Cristiana, Cumbia, Banda, Salsa, Rock en Español, Mexican, Tejano, South Asian, Asian and K-Pop.

Advertisements will also be placed in print and digital Charlotte publications.

On the highways, drivers will see 10 digital billboards and six vinyl locations. A 12-week ad campaign will be in place on Charlotte’s light rail vehicles and buses. Sixteen light rail kings, including the sides of light rails, and 60 light rail interior cards have been purchased. For buses, 24 kings, including the sides of buss with headliners,and 156 interior cards have been purchased.

Jerrell hopes people are flooded with messages about the COVID-19 vaccine process.

“We have to use every tool in our tool belt as we move forward,” Jerrell said. “We know there are some more levers we can pull. We need to be clicking on all cylinders so that we can get into other pockets as well.”