Visual Media Analysis of a Flu Campaign
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Flu season is right around the corner. Are you and your family going to get vaccinations to protect yourselves? Influenza (flu) is a contagious respiratory disease that infects the nose, throat, and lungs and can lead to serious complications, hospitalization, or even death. Every year the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that everyone gets a flu shot to immunize themselves from flu and flu-like illnesses. Hundreds of campaigns throughout the country try to persuade the population to get an immunization and the CDC is the driving force behind this. The hardest part for the CDC is to figure out a different and creative way than the previous year to effectively address such a broad audience. While on Facebook this past week before having any knowledge of this assignment, I happened to stumble upon the CDCs current campaign about the flu shot and it was very convincing. One of the first things that you need to think about when writing anything is your target audience. According to dictionary.com a target audience is the intended group for which something is performed or marketed; the specific group to which advertising is directed. For the CDC this is a very easy question to answer but a very hard question to address. This is due to the fact that their audience is everyone! On this years flu campaign page one of the headlines is, “Everyone Needs a Flu Vaccine – Every Flu Season”. You may be asking the same question that the CDC is asking themselves, how can you address a campaign to people so young they can barely read and at the same time make it convincing to people so old they can barely see the writing? The answer to that question lies in the question itself and that is diversity. When addressing such a diverse audience of all races, ages and genders you need to diversify the campaigning strategies to meet everyones interests as much as possible. In this years flu internet ad, the first thing that catches your eye is a happy family consisting of two parents and their two children. This picture appeals to everyone and once you click on it, the ad goes directly to a pathos appeal which means it appeals to your emotions. The third sentence of the article written in bold lettering is, “Get vaccinated to protect yourself and your loved ones!”. There is not one person in the world that does not want to protect themselves and their loved ones. For younger and/or simpler minds that cannot quite understand that advertising, the CDC has published simple stick figure videos demonstrating the importance of getting the flu vaccination. Another extremely clever advertising strategy the CDC implemented is posting a picture that says, “Who needs a flu vaccination? YOU. Even healthy people can get the flu. Protect yourselves and your loved ones.” It may seem pretty standard but the clever part about this is the “YOU” is made up of a collage people ranging across every different race and every different age. Safety and fear are very important concerns most people have when thinking about getting the vaccination so the ad also addressed both of these. It explains that there may be some minor side effects of the shot but you will not contract the flu from getting the immunization which is a rumor commonly heard. The CDC also explains the 7 different types of immunizations available ranging from sprays, skin shots, or muscle tissue shots depending on what you prefer. Multiple strategies and clever marketing ideas have been used in the CDCs campaigning efforts. I believe the CDC has done a very good job at marketing and advertising flu vaccinations to every age, gender and race. Influenza campaigns and advertisements have been very effective because of a few reasons. The CDCs ads convince people into getting a flu immunization due to their sly use of fear. Fear is one of the CDCs biggest weapons. Listing all of the terrible things that can happen if you do not get vaccinated puts fear into peoples minds about the safety and well-being of themselves and their loved ones. Since 1980 there has been a dramatic increase in the amount of people who get the annual vaccination. In 1980, 12.4 million doses of the vaccination were distributed. 147.8 million doses were given out in 2014. That is a 135.4 million person increase and this may not be fully due to the advertising done but part of that 135.4 million is due to the marketing the CDC has done. The numbers speak for the effectiveness of the campaigning efforts. Even though the CDC is using fear as their number one marketing technique it has clearly made their efforts very effective. Every year the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that everyone gets a flu shot to immunize themselves from flu and flu-like illnesses. Hundreds of campaigns cycle throughout the country that try to persuade the population to get an immunization and the CDC is the driving force behind this. Since 1980, 135.4 million more people per year get some sort of flu vaccination to protect themselves. The campaigns that the CDC publishes are very effective due to diversifying their marketing tactics so that they will appeal to everyones emotions and sense of fear.
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Visual Media Analysis of a Flu Campaign