SACRAMENTO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--As part of a statewide effort to encourage Latino and Black/African American Californians to get vaccinated and boosted, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has launched engaging and culturally relevant ad campaigns featuring luchadores and comic book heroes battling COVID-19.
While nearly 84 percent of California’s population is vaccinated against COVID-19, Latino and Black communities have lower vaccination rates than other ethnic groups and have suffered disproportionately throughout the pandemic.
With more Californians becoming eligible for COVID-19 vaccines and boosters, the campaigns present a family-friendly and eye-catching approach to raising awareness of COVID-19 vaccines and boosters and the protection they offer the whole family against the worst outcomes of the virus.
The campaigns draw on images of familiar cultural figures: luchadores and Black superheroes.
Luchadores (wrestlers) are iconic symbols of Mexican culture, high-flying masked characters that have inspired generations through comics, television, and movie productions. The print ads and billboards, appearing in both Spanish and English, depict the showmanship of mighty luchadores as “boosters” vanquishing a green luchador whose mask resembles a COVID-19 molecule with spiky green proteins.
- The second campaign, “Vaccine & Booster: The Ultimate COVID-19 Warriors,” depicts the adventures of two Black superheroes inspired by comic books. Each dynamic ad demonstrates the duos’ amazing powers in the fight against COVID-19 and includes information about where to find a vaccine or booster. A kid-friendly coloring book following the superheroes’ adventures is being distributed at local community events.
“While California residents have made great strides in vaccination rates, the state remains focused on closing equity gaps across communities impacted by COVID-19, as outlined in the SMARTER plan,” said Dr. Tomás J. Aragón, Director and State Public Health Officer, California Department of Public Health.
“These campaigns present entertaining, culturally resonant messages to encourage people to protect themselves and their loved ones by getting vaccinated and boosted.”
Ads can be seen on billboards and in ethnic media publications. Posters of each campaign also can be found in panaderias, laundromats, salons, and barbershops. Radio and social media ads will amplify the campaigns through July. The ads can be seen in Los Angeles, Long Beach, Orange County, San Diego, Central Valley, Sacramento, San Francisco/Oakland, San Bernardino/Riverside and Bakersfield media markets.
The Luchadores campaign was created by Sensis, a multicultural marketing agency, and the Black superheroes concept was developed by LAGRANT COMMUNICATIONS, a 100 percent, minority-owned and operated agency. Both efforts are under the direction of RSE, the full-service California agency leading the integrated marketing communications campaign for CDPH’s COVID-19 vaccination effort.
For more information on vaccines and boosters, visit MyTurn.ca.gov or call 833-422-4255.
EDITOR’S NOTE: COVID-19 cases are on the rise in the U.S. and California. New, highly contagious variants of the disease can lead to serious illness, hospitalization, and death, especially among those who are unvaccinated. Boosters extend immunity and protect people longer against infection and severe disease.