Sanofi teams up with Ice-T to scare people into getting flu shots

Sanofi, Ice-T, flu shot, vaccine,Video campaign, Flu season

Sanofi is breaking the mold with a bold and captivating campaign aimed at alerting older adults to the perils of contracting the flu. This innovative initiative has joined forces with none other than the iconic rapper and actor, Ice-T, and features a video that draws inspiration from the realms of horror and suspense cinema.

The campaign kick-started with the release of “The Season” trailer, described by the French pharmaceutical giant as “this year’s newest thriller.” The video commences with a cinematic nod to the familiar movie rating screen, stating, “the following preview has been approved for older adult audiences in the U.S.” It then unfolds with eerie visuals, including fog-shrouded woodlands and a menacing jack-o’-lantern.

Over these ominous scenes, Ice-T lends his unmistakable voice, cautioning that “there are warnings about me this time every year.” While some might consider him harmless or even gone, Ice-T’s voice takes a chilling turn with a menacing laugh as he declares, “I’m still here, biding my time.” He goes on to emphasize the dangers of complacency, revealing the hidden harms and complications the flu can unleash. Ice-T concludes with a foreboding message, “They can’t see me hiding in plain sight like a wolf in sheep’s clothing. But I’m more real than any story. I’m the flu. And the only thing I’ll say is, get ready for me.” The video concludes by highlighting the risks the flu poses to older adults.

Dominika Kovacs, the head of Sanofi’s adult vaccine business unit in the U.S., shed light on the campaign’s choice of horror-infused imagery. Kovacs explained that this approach becomes more relevant in the fall, with the weather cooling down and Halloween approaching, making it an attention-grabbing strategy. The analogy of a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” underscores the campaign’s message that the flu is lurking, often underestimated until it strikes.

One of the campaign’s core objectives is to underscore that the flu can bring a multitude of problems for older adults, including contributing to an annual U.S. death toll that has reached as high as 50,000 in recent years. Kovacs also highlighted data revealing an increased risk of stroke and heart attack in the weeks following an influenza infection, underscoring the broader, longer-term impact of the flu beyond its immediate symptoms.

Sanofi’s choice of Ice-T as a collaborator for this campaign stems from his edginess, distinctive voice, and his potential to address health disparities that disproportionately affect Black communities in the context of influenza. Ice-T, known for his earlier controversial lyrics, now focuses on his health, acknowledging the need to take care of himself as he reaches the age of 65.

This campaign’s targeting aligns with Sanofi’s flu vaccine portfolio, which includes Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent and Flublok Quadrivalent. These products have received favorable recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for adults aged 65 and older.

Sanofi’s bold and innovative approach to flu awareness is a stark departure from conventional health campaigns, leveraging the power of storytelling and collaboration with a cultural icon to drive home the message about the flu’s serious impact on older adults.

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