This case demonstrates how local news broadcaster MTV was able to make a real impact on the vaccination drive in Lebanon by engaging the audience directly through an innovative campaign, across TV and social, and an activation that took the country by storm.
By allowing the people of Lebanon to access an online portal and get informed on the facts surrounding COVID-19 and the vaccines, they were able to make a change in their behavior for a good cause.
Are you a doctor? No? Because in Lebanon, everyone is a doctor.
Every single person is an expert and can provide solutions and advice for any medical issue, including fighting off the coronavirus. The most ridiculous magical cures were spreading online and through word-of-mouth.
Murr Television (MTV) is the leading independent media station in Lebanon and it is their responsibility to help the truth spread.
So, as absurd solutions were piling on, and people were not signing up for vaccinations, MTV took it upon themselves to combat this issue.
They launched a campaign shedding light on all the wannabe doctors across the country, telling them to be experts in anything, but not medicine.
The brand had two interconnected purposes:
- Create awareness around the danger of misinformed conversations.
- Build up public and positive conversations around the vaccines’ benefits.
Describe the creative idea
Of the five million Lebanese people in the country, all of them consider themselves to be experts at something. Cooking, singing, running, photographing, writing, diving, climbing, nail-polishing, cleaning, piloting. Thousands of experts in hundreds of different subjects.
When everyone was offering their own input on how to best protect yourself from Covid, instead of telling people to stop giving out medical advice or refuting their suggestions, MTV encouraged people to be the experts they were, in all fields.
Instead of calling “bullsh@t” on every conversation – a strategy that sometimes backfires and puts people off – MTV agreed that all of them were experts. Yes.
You and me, we can all be experts. But leave medicine and medical advice to the real doctors.
This was the birth of the MTV Kelna Daketra campaign.
Describe the strategy
People in Lebanon were not signing up for vaccinations despite a massive push from the government. They relied mostly on the genius creations of friends and family, such as garlic diets and sticking items up their nose to block the airflow of the coronavirus.
A famous singer Ragheb Alama even went on TV claiming the vaccine is useless and people should rely on alternative methods to protect themselves.
To understand matters, MTV went ahead and began studying statements and conversations from all types of people talking nonsense about so-called homemade Covid treatments.
However, the conversations in themselves were not the problem. The real problem was that people are simply keen on trusting the ones who are closest to them, whether they’re family or friends.
How could MTV discredit people you probably love and shift public conversations towards medical and scientific truths?
Describe the execution
The MTV Kelna Daketra campaign began with recruitment ads seeking graduates with the most absurd doctorate degrees: a “shisha doctor”, a “gossip doctor”, a “nail-polishing doctor”, etc.
We followed this with a revealer showing “typical” characters giving out fake medical advice against coronavirus in the most light-hearted and relatable manner. One example was a driver telling people nicotine is proven to kill the coronavirus. Another was a recipe for foul, a Lebanese breakfast dish, made specifically to combat the virus, claiming garlic is better than the vaccine.
At last, MTV launched a talk show along with a digital hub, where people could create their own degree certificates from a funny list of specializations (we even distributed the certificates on air).
Most importantly, this same website contained crucial information about the vaccine and raised awareness about the misinformation around Covid.
Get your expert certificates, everybody. But, please, also get your vaccines.
List the results
The engagement MTV Kelna Daketra received exceeded our greatest expectations.
The certificates were circulating around Lebanon and the website received over 357,900 unique visitors (not bad for a country of 4 million people) with 3,456 certificates downloaded.
Conversations around them kept going: it became a running joke when someone would give advice; you would get them an official certificate!
The campaign even reached a Sheikh at a mosque who mentioned the importance of vaccines in his Friday sermon – and he specifically mentioned the foul recipe we used in our ads.
The campaign was picked up by morning and evening news shows – reaching 18.44% of Lebanese viewers.
According to Trading Economics, in April, only 6% of Lebanese had received a vaccination dose; by end of year, we had reached 64%.
Even the singer Ragheb Alama took the vaccine eventually.
Good for him.
Good for MTV. Good for everybody.