Funeral truck telling people ‘don’t get vaccinated’ circles North Carolina stadium during football game in pro-vaccination stunt
- The truck circled a Charlotte stadium during Sunday’s Panthers v. Saints game
- It said, ‘Don’t get vaccinated,’ above a logo for the Wilmore Funeral Home
- The home’s website continued: ‘If not, see you soon,’ along with a click-through link to Charlotte’s StarMed clinic offering COVID-19 vaccines
- The simple yet stark ad puzzled those who saw it, but it was all a publicity stunt
- The Boone Oakley ad agency took out the mobile billboard and set up the link
- The StarMed clinic wasn’t aware of the ad until it saw it on social media
- 52 percent of North Carolinians are fully vaccinated, slightly below US average
A funeral truck circled a football stadium in Charlotte during Sunday’s Panthers v. Saints game with a simple message: ‘Don’t get vaccinated.’
At first glance, the anti-vax directive appeared to be sponsored by the Wilmore Funeral Home. It drew attention on social media as a clever, if dark, ad campaign for future memorial services for those who might end up needing them.
A website for the funeral home on the stark ad goes even further: ‘If not, see you soon,’ it reads, with a click-through link to a clinic offering COVID-19 vaccines.
‘This truck is making laps around Bank of America Stadium before the Panthers game in Charlotte,’ a puzzled Twitter user wrote Sunday at 11.23am.
‘Is it sponsored by a damn funeral home? Wow,’ someone replied shortly after.
The truck and the website, as it turns out, are part of an elaborate pro-vaccine stunt by the Boone Oakley ad agency in Charlotte.
A truck purporting to be from the Wilmore Funeral Home told people, ‘Don’t get vaccinated’
The funeral home’s website ominously warns, ‘If not, see you soon,’ in a link to a vaccine clinic
The truck circled the Bank of America stadium in Charlotte during a football game Sunday
‘Almost everyone here got their vaccines at StarMed,’ agency president David Oakley told Newsweek about the clinic featured on the fictional funeral home’s website.
‘A lot of pro-vaccine advertising is very straightforward,’ he added.
‘We thought, ‘Is there a way to turn it around and do it from a different perspective?”
After devising a strategy, they reached out to Crenshaw Visions in South Carolina to buy the mobile billboard, which drove around the Bank of America stadium in uptown Charlotte.
COVID-19 cases in North Carolina reached 11,337 on September 11 after a summer lull before the more contagious Delta variant fully spread, targeting mostly unvaccinated people
Only 52 percent of North Carolinians are fully vaxxed, slightly below the US average of 54.8
The StarMed clinic said it was not aware of the pro-vaccine stunt until it saw it on Facebook
In North Carolina, only 52 percent of the total population is fully vaccinated, slightly below the national average of 54.8 percent, according to data from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Ninety percent of NC adults aged 65 and older have at least one dose.
The US is already falling behind other wealthy nations in terms of COVID-19 protection.
As of Sunday, 69.3 percent of people in Canada, 65 percent of people in the UK and almost 63 percent of people in Germany were fully vaccinated, according to Our World in Data, a website by the University of Oxford.
There were 3,257 cases of COVID-19 reported across North Carolina on Monday, down from a high of 11,337 on September 11 – the third-highest daily number of cases since the pandemic began as the more contagious Delta variant rages on.
The US is stuck at a full vaccination rate of 54.8 percent, less than that of Canada and the UK
Deaths are rising in what many, including President Joe Biden, call a ‘pandemic of the unvaccinated’
The StarMed clinic had no part in Sunday’s fake ad.
‘If this saves one person’s life by getting vaccinated, I’m 100 percent for it,’ the clinic’s chief medical officer, Dr. Arin Piramzadian, told the Charlotte Observer.
‘We know that 99 percent of people who are ending up in the hospital and dying are unvaccinated,’ said Piramzadian, who came across a photo of the truck on Facebook Monday morning.
‘If that statistic does not scare people … I’m not sure what does. Perhaps a dark humor aspect such as this one does catch someone’s attention.’
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