Marketing guru slams ‘arm yourself’ vaccine campaign but loves the graphic Sydney lockdown video


A top marketing guru claims Australia’s new campaign won’t convince anyone to get vaccinated, but a distressing video for Sydney’s lockdown will be very effective.

Siimon Reynolds, who was behind the ‘Grim Reaper’ AIDS campaign in the 1980s, said the $21 million ‘super weak’ ad series to encourage people to get the Covid-19 jab was a waste of money.

The video, which was rolled out across the country on Sunday, asked Australians to ‘arm themselves’ with the vaccine – and features a range of people of different ages lifting their sleeves to show they’ve had the jab.

Mr Reynolds was not impressed with the ‘weak’ messaging and dubbed the effort a ‘colossal waste of money and a terrible missed opportunity’.

Siimon Reynolds (pictured with TV host Kathryn Eisman in 2017) created the famous 1987 advert warning Australians about the grave dangers of HIV and AIDS

‘You can’t simply just have someone’s arm with a band aid as a way of changing millions of people’s points of view,’ he told ABC news.

‘”Arm yourself against the vaccine” is super weak and it says nothing more than get the vaccine.’

But he was optimistic about a second ad which began running on TV and online in Sydney on Sunday evening.

The 30-second ad shows a very sick young woman laying in a hospital bed, wheezing heavily and clawing at a ventilator fastened under her nose because she can’t breathe properly.

The nationwide campaign urging Australians to get the Covid-19 vaccine has been slammed by a marketing guru

The nationwide campaign urging Australians to get the Covid-19 vaccine has been slammed by a marketing guru

Pictured: A still from a nationwide ad campaign encouraging Australians to get vaccinated

Pictured: A still from a nationwide ad campaign encouraging Australians to get vaccinated

A message then pops up that says: ‘Covid-19 can affect anyone. Stay-at-home, get tested and booked in for a vaccination.’

Mr Reynolds said: ‘It shows that Covid can really be painful which a lot of Australians don’t really believe and it shows that young people can get it, not just older people.

‘It is 10 times better than the first ad.’

He also warned that wheeling out celebrities and pop stars to encourage the public to get the jab is not going to work as it may have done in other countries. 

In the ad (pictured), a young woman with Covid-19 can be seen clawing at her ventilator because she can't breath

In the ad (pictured), a young woman with Covid-19 can be seen clawing at her ventilator because she can’t breath

‘People have been trying to sell everything from watches to cars that way for 100 years, surely when we have a life-threatening disease we can do better,’ he said.

‘It just reminds people that this isn’t such a big deal because here’s a pop singer cracking a joke about Covid and it’s the exact opposite of what should be done.’

He said that if he was tasked with leading the vaccine campaign he would look at celebrities who have actually battled Covid and speak first hand about its devastating effects.

‘What about celebrities like the US pop star Pink. She got Covid so badly that she rewrote her will, so that her two children could be looked after, after she died,’ Mr Reynolds said. 

‘Now, get a celebrity like that to talk about the pain she was in and the angst she felt and the fear – that’s what is going to wake people up.’ 

Near-death: Pink revealed that thought she would die and wrote her will during her 'terrifying' battle with coronavirus last year

Near-death: Pink revealed that thought she would die and wrote her will during her ‘terrifying’ battle with coronavirus last year

SThe American pop star, 41, contracted the virus alongside her four-year-old son Jameson (pictured) in March 2020 and admitted she was so sick she 'thought it was over'

SThe American pop star, 41, contracted the virus alongside her four-year-old son Jameson (pictured) in March 2020 and admitted she was so sick she ‘thought it was over’

The American pop star, 41, real name Alecia Beth Moore, contracted the virus alongside her four-year-old son Jameson in March 2020.

Last year, Pink penned an essay published by NBC News, where she opened up about her and Jamson’s ‘physically and emotionally challenging’ battle with the disease. 

‘Battling Covid-19 along with my three-year-old son was the most physically and emotionally challenging experience I have gone through as a mother,’ she wrote.

‘Weeks after receiving our test results, my son was still ill and feverish. It was a terrifying time, not knowing what might come next.’

Monday's triple-figure rise in coronavirus cases is the largest daily increase since April 2020

Monday’s triple-figure rise in coronavirus cases is the largest daily increase since April 2020

In May this year, she admitted just how ill she was, and ‘thought it was over’. 

‘This is going to sound crazy, but we had Covid last year, very early in March and it was really really bad and I rewrote my will,’ she said on Heart Radio.

The mother-of-two went on to detail how her near-death experience inspired her new song, All I Know So Far, written from the perspective of a parent speaking to their child for the last time.

The federal government defended its public health campaign in a statement to Daily Mail Australia. 

‘The clip encourages people in NSW to book their vaccination, but also to highlight the need to stay home and get tested,’ it said.

‘The Delta variant is much more infectious and is impacting younger cohorts more than previous variants.’

On Monday morning, Sydney recorded 112 cases – an alarming 48 of which are unlinked to known clusters and 34 were infectious in the community.

A NSW Health Covid Testing clinic at Liverpool in Sydney's south-west, where the Mayor said vaccination accessibility needed to be provided in local schools and community centres

A NSW Health Covid Testing clinic at Liverpool in Sydney’s south-west, where the Mayor said vaccination accessibility needed to be provided in local schools and community centres

NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said there were now 18 patients suffering from Covid-19 in the state’s intensive care units – of which 14 are under the age of 35.

‘That is dispelling the notion that you are not going to get sick from Covid if you’re young,’ she said.

She also revealed health officials were also finding an increasing number of cases in the 18 to 20-year-old age group in the south Sydney LGAs of Georges River, Bayside and Sutherland. 

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the ‘vast majority’ of cases were in the Fairfield local government area in Sydney’s south-west and called for its residents to stay home as part of the city’s three-week lockdown unless they absolutely have to go out.

She said health officials were also still seeing high levels of transmission in the Canterbury-Bankstown and Liverpool government areas.

‘The risk is everywhere in those areas,’ she said. ‘We have to be upfront with where the virus is circulating at the moment.’

Monday’s triple-figure rise in coronavirus cases is the largest daily increase since April 2020. 



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