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Second Ad Campaign To Encourage Vaccinations in N.H. Gets Green Light

A screen shot of a commercial starring the governor.
Todd Bookman
Gov. Sununu took a starring role in the first round of advertisements aimed at encouraging COVID-19 vaccines.

The Executive Council approved an additional $844,000 in federal funding for a broadcast and digital marketing campaign aimed at encouraging more residents to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

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The additional funds will go to Manchester-based GYK Antler, a marketing firm, which received $435,000 earlier this year during the first phase of the vaccine rollout.

The new ad campaign will target residents under 40 years old, those living in census tracts with lower vaccination rates, as well as populations traditionally underserved by the health care system. About 54 percent of New Hampshire residents are currently fully vaccinated.

“The people who will be featured in this campaign are New Hampshire nurses and doctors, as well as residents talking to people who they know, and look like them, and live where they live, and telling them why they got the vaccine,” Jake Leon, spokesperson for DHHS, told councilors.

Leon said the first phase of the campaign placed more than 13,000 television and radio spots, and more than 500,000 views on social media platforms including Facebook and Instagram.

Some of those ads included an appearance by Gov. Chris Sununu, a move criticized by Councilor Cinde Warmington, the lone Democrat on the five-member body.

Warmington cast the only no vote against the latest contract and later tweeted that Sununu "used the first $400k to run campaign ads promoting himself rather than using research-proven tactics to increase vaccine rates. I won’t let another $884k go to waste for his political gain.”

State health officials pointed out that governors across the country have appeared in vaccination advertisements, and that local political figures may also be used in marketing materials for the next advertising phase.

Todd started as a news correspondent with NHPR in 2009. He spent nearly a decade in the non-profit world, working with international development agencies and anti-poverty groups. He holds a master’s degree in public administration from Columbia University.

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