Covid Vaccine strategy was used the advertising framework of think, feel, do

Marica Micallef

The World Economic Forum has played a larger role during Covid-19 than many people may be aware of, and it has even published a useful manual for governments and public health officials worldwide on how to coerce and influence the public into receiving the Covid-19 vaccine.

In an article entitled “3 tactics to overcome Covid-19 vaccine hesitancy”,[1] the WEF claimed that to achieve herd immunity against the purported Covid-19 disease, public health officials should employ the “advertising theory,” influence people’s attitudes toward vaccination, employ community leaders and medical professionals to spread misinformation, and use bribes as incentives to “help get sceptics through the doors of local vaccination centres.”

The Hierarchy of Effects Framework,[2] which contends that “customers think first, then feel, and then do,” is central to this advertising theory. The WEF advised that in order to persuade sceptics, officials should use three straightforward coercive and manipulative techniques.

“Increasing awareness and fighting disinformation” is the first action the WEF suggests public health professionals take. According to this, local leaders should proactively engage sceptics and enlighten them through “mediums” such as phone calls, direct mail, television, billboard, and digital platforms.” This is based on the “think” stage of the advertising theory. The WEF recommends this because it believes that people are “likely to feel the invention and approval procedure of the vaccinations was rushed, with under-reported side effects” as a result of research. The issue with the WEF’s recommendation, in this case, is that people have good reason to think the development and approval process was hurried. They are also correct to think that adverse effects may be underreported. This is a matter of fact; it is not an issue of opinion.

Propaganda and harassment are the second stage that the WEF suggests public health professionals do. This is based on the “feel” stage of the advertising theory and proposes that in order to convince vaccination sceptics to obtain the Covid shot, they should be pestered with calls, conversations, and social media posts.

Playing on people’s fear of missing out (FOMO), both socially and financially, is another strategy the WEF suggested to enhance vaccine doubters’ feelings. Thus, public health professionals should employ strategies that cause remorse and regret to achieve this.

They suggested this can be done in a similar fashion as was successfully employed in Canada during the 1930s and 1940s to confront diphtheria. During that time, they used messages such as “if your children die of diphtheria, it is your fault because you prefer not to take the trouble to protect against it”.

Bribery and cold calling are the third and last stage that the WEF advises public health authorities to take. According to this, which is based on the advertising theory’s “do” stage, incentives should be provided to compel people to receive the Covid-19 vaccination, and people should also be harassed at their houses in an effort to get them to get the shot right there and then.

In order to “urge” people to get the Covid vaccine, the WEF recommends public health professionals use cash incentives, free transportation, paid time off, free products, and lottery winnings as bribes.

It also suggested setting up “vaccine swat teams” who harass people in their homes in order to reach those who are “home-bound” or “have difficulty” travelling to vaccination facilities, as well as setting up pop-up clinics in underserved areas with populations who are vaccine-hesitant.

The WEF stated that it believed that applying the “think – feel – do” patient-centred approach to the COVID-19 vaccine communication problem will improve efforts at accelerating global herd immunity. Ensuring a safe economic reopening and recovery and overcoming this significant health and economic challenge could depend on such tactics”ż.

But given the psychological warfare tactics that the government has used against the populace, using the same strategies that the WEF has advertised, in an effort to coerce acquiescence, can we really blame the public for it? Under the pretence of “doing their part for the greater good,” psychological warfare that arouses fear has turned people into sacrificed lambs when they went for the experimental Covid-19 vaccine.



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