A truck made its way around Charlotte, North Carolina, for several hours on Sunday with an ad on its side declaring “Don’t get vaccinated.” Underneath the message was the name of a funeral home.
But it was actually a ploy by an ad agency using reverse psychology to encourage people to get vaccinated against COVID-19, USA Today reported.
A website for Wilmore Funeral Home actually provides a link for users to go to StarMed Healthcare's website, where they can register to get the COVID-19 vaccine, the news outlet reported.
Ad firm BooneOakley posted on Twitter on Tuesday that the jig was up: “It was us. Get vaccinated.”
It was us. Get vaccinated. pic.twitter.com/WFQ1h6sLwn— BooneOakley (@booneoakley) September 21, 2021
The agency’s owner, David Oakley, who thought up the idea, explained to USA Today that they wanted a message that would get people’s attention and decided to play on the morbid humor of associating the message with a funeral home, an industry that was “probably doing a great business right now,” USA Today reported.
Oakley told USA Today that the timing and placement of the truck was intentional: They wanted to position the truck close to Charlotte’s Bank of America stadium so that those who were tailgating at Sunday's game between the New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers might encounter it.
"My feeling is if we could do something, put out an advertisement that would get one person vaccinated, it was worth every penny we paid for the Billboard," Oakley told USA Today.
About 68 percent of North Carolina's population aged 12 years and older are at least partially vaccinated while 57 percent are fully vaccinated, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
In comparison, 75 percent of the U.S. aged 12 years and older is at least partially vaccinated and 64 percent are fully vaccinated, per CDC data.