Survey: Should Brands Weigh in on Vaccination Campaigns?

Survey: Should Brands Weigh in on Vaccination Campaigns?

If there’s one topic that’s been hotly debated in the last two years, it is vaccines. In December 2021, more than 150 companies and brands voiced their support for vaccinations across Germany and popularised the hashtag #ZusammenGegenCorona across social media. Now, as the German parliament prepares to debate the topic of mandatory vaccinations, our Insights survey reveals attitudes to brands weighing in on the vaccination topic.

This March, for the first time since the pandemic, the Bundestag (the Federal Parliament of Germany) will also be assessing the topic of mandatory vaccinations. Experts and academics are debating which model would be best suited for carrying this out. So, our insights team felt the timing was apt to ask consumers in Germany how they perceive vaccinations and, taking it one step further, whether brands should get involved in the debate. 

In February, we utilised our Digital Brand Tracker to carry out this survey of 2000 German consumers on attitudes to vaccinations. Tailored for digital brands and startups, our brand tracker provides monthly insights into the brand awareness and perception of more than 350 digital businesses in Germany, as well as surveying consumer attitudes on a range of important topics affecting brands. This time around we turned the lens on a topic that’s relevant to society and our industry at large, focusing on the perceived role that brands and celebrities have to play when it comes to supporting pro-vaccination campaigns.. Here are some key takeaways: 

51% think brands and celebrities should support vaccination campaigns

A slight majority of Germans think it’s okay for brands and celebrities to join vaccination campaigns because of their public function. However, for the first time, we also observed an uncertain picture in the course of our monthly consumer studies. This is because 22% of participants said they were inconclusive on the subject. Their answer: not sure.

35% perceive a brand positively when they support vaccination campaigns

As mentioned above, more than 150 companies and brands supported vaccine campaigns through #ZusammenGegenCorona last year. The aim was to convince the non-vaccinated population to get vaccinated and we were curious to see the effect this movement has had on consumers’ perceptions of the brands involved. Our survey showed that 35% believe such campaigns have a positive effect on brand perception and image. The survey also shows that 27% prefer brands that participate in such initiatives. 

Mandatory vaccinations and unvaccinated colleagues: there’s a generation gap

When it comes to mandatory vaccinations and working with non-vaccinated colleagues, the picture changes slightly. Working with non-vaccinated colleagues? Only 36% of baby boomers would do so, while 71% of Gen Z is open to the idea. While 50% of Germans support mandatory vaccinations, we saw the attitudes vary significantly between different age groups. For instance, 66% of baby boomers are in favour of making vaccines mandatory, compared to 41% of Gen Z. The results also reveal a gender gap, with 53% of males and 48% women support mandatory vaccination. 

Location also matters: our survey revealed that respondents from Sachsen-Anhalt (31% opposed) and Mecklenburg Vorpommern (35%) are most critical of mandatory vaccinations.

Our recommendation to brands 

Our CEO and Co-Founder, Matthias Riedl, recommends that brands take note of the survey results. “We are in the endgame of the pandemic, according to German and international experts. However, mandatory vaccination remains a contentious issue among the German population,” he says. “From our survey, it becomes clear that while such initiatives may not influence brand perception, it isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Due to their public nature, brands have the power to stimulate discourse and conversation when supporting such campaigns. The goal for taking a social stance, however, should not be solely about influencing brand perception.”

To get more insights from our Digital Brand Tracker – and to learn how consumers see your brand? Sign up for more info here: 

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