The U.S. government turns to influencers to rock COVID inoculation
Future. The federal government, along with state and local branches, is hiring digital influencers to promote getting the COVID vaccine. The strategy may show how desperate U.S. leadership is to reach younger generations as the Delta variant rages.
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Unfortunately, sometimes the only people Gen-Z and Millennials are going to listen to are online influencers.
- The White House has reportedly enlisted over 50 Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok influencers to help spread vaccine awareness and comboat disinformation.
- That roster includes 18-year-old pop star Olivia Rodrigo.
State and local governments have also adopted a similar strategy. They’re hired “local micro influencers” (people with anywhere from 5K-100K followers) for $1K a month.
The internet influencer push began because less than half of American between 18 and 39 are reportedly vaccinated. And 58% of kids between 12 and 17 are still unvaccinated.
The practice of the U.S. hiring celebrities or cultural influencers for medical awareness goes back decades. Elvis Presley famously took the polio vaccine on the wildly popular The Ed Sullivan Show in 1956. But times have changed. A 2018 study by marketing agency MuseFind found that young people would more likely listen to their favorite influencer than a celebrity.
So is this generation’s Elvis Presley someone more like Charli D’Amelio?