October 12, 2021
  • October 12, 2021

The ‘don’t get vaccinated’ tanker ad was a stunt

By on September 24, 2021 0

A cash truck telling people not to get vaccinated was actually a publicity stunt promoting COVID-19 vaccines in Charlotte, North Carolina.

On Sunday, September 19, ahead of the Carolina Panthers-New Orleans Saints game, a box truck was spotted in Charlotte with an unusual message. “Don’t get vaccinated,” read the sign on the truck, along with the logo of a funeral home. According to people on social media, the truck was making laps around the football stadium.

The truck quickly went viral, with some online users questioning the message behind the marketing.

THE QUESTION

Was this mobile billboard a legitimate advertisement for a funeral home?

THE SOURCES

THE ANSWER

No, the truck with a sign saying “do not get vaccinated” was not a legitimate advertisement for a funeral home. It was a coup to encourage vaccination.

WHAT WE FOUND

The box truck was created as part of an advertising campaign by the firm BooneOakley to encourage vaccination. BooneOakley took credit for the creation on his Twitter account.

Wilmore Funeral Home is a fictitious funeral home, and when someone visits wilmorefuneralhome.com, they are greeted with a message that says, “Get vaccinated now. Otherwise, see you soon.

The site then redirects the visitor to the StarMed Healthcare vaccination site, based in Charlotte, where users can sign up to receive one of three COVID-19 vaccines. StarMed Healthcare is one of the largest providers of COVID-19 testing and vaccinations in the Charlotte metro.

Chris Dobbins, head of relations and response for StarMed, told WCNC station in Charlotte that the campaign was entirely curated by BooneOakley and couldn’t have come at a better time.

“We’ve had phone calls about all of this excitement,” Dobbins said. “‘Hey, we’ve been redirected to your site.’ We had to do a bit of homework and found that this company had a really good experience with StarMed and actually used us as a landing point for this ad. ”

Claire Oakley, along with BooneOakley, told VERIFY that the company strongly believes that people should protect themselves and get vaccinated. In North Carolina, about 52 percent of the population has been fully vaccinated, and Oakley said they hope this truck will allow people to see things from another perspective – from a funeral home’s perspective.

She said the truck got “attention in a whole different and unexpected way – so that people see this problem from a different perspective.” And, hopefully, consider getting the vaccine.

StarMed Healthcare tweeted that the marketing campaign was successful in encouraging unvaccinated people to get vaccinated – there was a 22% increase in COVID-19 vaccination appointments recorded at StarMed compared to the week previous before the campaign.

More from VERIFY: Yes, sufficiently mature children have the option to opt out of a COVID-19 vaccine trial

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