How NOT to promote vaccines to Covid-19 vaccine-hesitant Poles in Britain

I am a Pole in Britain and I live in Luton, one of the most deprived areas in the UK. My neighbours are diverse and also include Poles who resist vaccinations. This is weird in itself and probably would make a very interesting study because all my friends and family in Poland are getting vaccinated like crazy (mostly working-class so very similar demographics to the majority of Polish people living in Luton).

But here in the UK, things are a little bit different, especially when it comes to Poles in Luton. Vaccine take-up amongst this group is low. I do not have any official numbers to prove it so please take this post with a healthy dose of skepticism, it is just what I hear and see on social media forums, and when I talk to my Polish friends, and hairdresser, builder, cleaner. A few weeks ago, I was targeted by an online advert on Facebook – an ad targeted specifically at Poles, available on the London Borough of Hounslow Facebook profile. Ad can be found here in the Facebook Ad Library.

You can watch it here:

and a screenshot of it the ad below:

The advert is an official NHS advert providing information about the Covid-19 vaccination in the Polish language.

So how do you NOT advertise vaccines to skeptical, vaccine-hesitant Poles in the UK?

Here are my pointers:

  1. Do not make it look like the endorser is reading from a dictated script and runs out of breath
  2. Do not make it that long (but if you solve point 1 above, the length should not be such a big issue)
  3. Do not make it look forced and ‘fake’, the endorser looks like she is struggling to read out the script.
  4. Do not use an endorser who looks insecure and a bit timid.

Other than that, they did pretty well. Targeted ads, the endorser is an assistant nurse, a Pole, and the advert is in the target group’s language.

More could have been done to make the ad look more realistic and ‘relaxed’, less script reading and more of a casual conversation would work better. But time was probably an issue here, so all in all – not the worst result.