How the Cable Industry is Educating Americans About COVID-19 Vaccination

COVID vaccine

In an effort to educate all Americans about the importance of receiving a COVID-19 vaccination, NCTA members have joined in a nationwide campaign, "It's Up to You." The campaign, sponsored by the Ad Council and COVID Collaborative initiative, is one of the largest public education efforts in U.S. history with more than 300 major companies and leaders participating. The goal is to provide the latest information about COVID-19 vaccines to the public and to empower and prepare all Americans, especially people of color who have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, to get vaccinated. 

This commitment by the cable industry follows efforts established last spring when cable industry companies dedicated more than $100 million in public service advertising towards educating consumers about the impact of COVID-19 and how to help prevent the spread of the virus. With the enormous reach and influence they have in communities across the country, cable operators and content providers are committed to educating the public and spreading awareness through their numerous channels and digital platforms about how Americans can help address and curtail the pandemic.  

The campaign was created in close partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to ensure that all public service messages and calls to action are vetted and backed by science. Here are just a handful of the public service initiatives already underway in support of "It's Up to You":

  • BET created a BET News COVID-19 special and leveraged its platforms to promote the collaborative's kick-off event with the NAACP, UNMASKED: A COVID-19 Virtual Town Hall. The event was livestreamed on February 25 and featured leading policy makers, researchers and medical experts who shared the latest on the pandemic, treatments and vaccine education. 
  • Disney is leveraging resources across a variety of its platforms (ABC, ESPN, Freeform, FX, Hulu, National Geographic) to feature "It's Up To You" public service advertisements (PSAs).
  • NBCUniversal and Telemundo are creating videos in both English and Spanish for support across the NBCUniversal ecosystem and they're being made available to other networks. 
  • OWN is creating a COVID-19 Vaccine Town Hall special as well as leveraging its channels to help promote the initiative's custom events for Black communities.
  • ViacomCBS, creators of the #AloneTogether campaign with the Ad Council which has delivered critical COVID-19 safety information since March, will run PSAs across its broadcast, cable and streaming platforms and produce videos and social content tailored for their unique audiences.
  • WarnerMedia is co-creating PSAs with its in-house 10th Street Production Company featuring Daveed Diggs, Sanjay Gupta and Rosie Perez. 

As CDC Director Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky said, "Public education is a critical component of our response to the COVID-19 pandemic — it is a shared effort to empower people to protect themselves, especially those in disproportionally burdened populations." She continued, "Just as we are taking action to address the inequities this pandemic laid bare, we need a concerted approach to bring an end to the pandemic and to leverage the lessons learned during COVID-19 to achieve optimal health for all."