Creative Efficacy

Independent Vaccination Ads motivate higher levels of Vaccine action than Federal Government’s attempts

Posted 30 Jul 2021

Forethought’s latest ad tests have revealed a far greater impact on respondent likelihood to book a vaccination from the recently released ‘Back to the Good Things’ and ‘Performance of a Lifetime’ ads, as opposed to the Federal Government’s ‘Arm Yourself’ and ‘ICU – Breathless’ campaigns.


Last week Forethought revealed that the Federal Government’s ‘ICU – Breathless’ campaign drove a 24% uplift in vaccination intentions – the greatest so far of any vaccination campaign ad in Australia. Until now.

Despite ‘Breathless’ stirring a high level of Anger among viewers – a strong motivating emotion – Forethought has found that the more positively emotive ‘Performance of a Lifetime’ ad from Victoria’s Arts Community drove a higher likelihood (29%) to book a vaccine among respondents.

Even more encouragingly still, the Victorian Council of Social Services’ ‘Back to the Good Things’ ad was the greatest motivator for viewers, with those surveyed reporting a 43% likelihood to book a vaccination appointment.

These findings occur in context of a strong public perception of low vaccine availability, with 77% of VIC Metro and 76% of NSW Metro respondents believing the availability of their preferred vaccine to be less than ideal.

Forethought CEO Diane Shelton says of the findings: ‘Congratulations to the Victorian Council of Social Services and to the Victorian Arts Community for developing and fielding two strong positive communications that drive vaccine intention. The research shows clearly that to mobilise people communications must tap into emotions and that as we have seen here the positive emotional communication is the strongest.’

Founder Ken Roberts added: ‘As an organisation that is testing the efficacy of creative daily, we are really surprised at the variability of the performance of these spots. The very negative elicitation of emotion last week from the Federal Government’s ICU spot was the most effective ad so far produced by the Federal Government.

Over the years we have seen numerous instances of ads that elicit negative emotions working effectively. However, in this instance the Victorian Council of Social Services’ ‘Back to the Good Things’ ad elicits positive emotions wrapped up in a strongly positive rational message and substantially outperforms the negative ICU spot.’


Forethought has been tracking Australian’s sense of Normality since 27 March 2020 when our world was first shocked by the Covid 19 pandemic. We have been taking a regular pulse of national mind and mood and have now surveyed nearly 20,000 Australians.

The material in this media release is from a sample of 411 (Vic only) of their response to creative communications or advertising, plus responses last week to Forethought’s testing of Government advertising as seen in last week’s report here.


Forethought is a leading customer and marketing analytics and strategy advisory firm.

Forethought, with the largest marketing science team in Australia, partners 80 clients in Australia to drive customer and market share growth via providing the evidence and CMO advisory support focused on customer acquisition and retention strategy and market share growth. In North America, Forethought partners with the fastest growing airline, JetBlue as well as several category leading brands.