Content marketing

Epicosity beats the Flu Bug with a campaign to promote vaccination awareness

In 2018, Epicosity – an integrated marketing and advertising agency in Sioux Falls, South Dakota – was tasked with developing the annual influenza vaccination awareness campaign for the South Dakota Department of Health.

The South Dakota Department of Health is a nonprofit government organization that delivers a wide range of public health services to prevent disease, promote health and ensure access to high quality care for the state’s nearly 900,000 inhabitants.

Over nearly a decade, the South Dakota Department of Health has conducted an effective annual flu vaccination awareness campaign, featuring the iconic Flu Bug character. Epicosity was asked to further evolve this highly recognizable character with a new campaign designed to combat prevailing vaccination misconceptions – the number one obstacle to effective influenza protection.

The campaign sought to educate people across South Dakota about the importance of being vaccinated for influenza annually, and ultimately increase influenza vaccination rates and maintain South Dakota’s position as one of the top states for influenza vaccination.

Vaccination has become an increasingly difficult sell for many populations, but Flu Bug has always aimed to dispel misinformation and provide a humorous, relatable entry point for talking about the subject.  “We decided to position the Flu Bug as a blockbuster villain, while retaining its familiar humorous and relatable traits,” said Travis Berg, video director at Epicosity. The result was an integrated campaign that was comprised of billboards and digital assets, such as a campaign landing page, video and static and animated ads, as well as out-of-home billboards – all featuring eye-catching, cinematic design.

Epicosity’s Flu Bug campaign helped land South Dakota as one of the top states in nationwide flu vaccinations for the seventh time in a row.  Additional campaign results included:

  • 4 million campaign impressions, a 17% increase year over year
  • 181,000 unique reach, a 65% increase year over year
  • 1,500+ website sessions logged

With only one week to complete video production and coordinate a team of professionals spread over seven locations, Epicosity needed to collaborate with maximum agility and efficiency to meet the project deadline.  To do so, the agency relied on Hightail to expedite sharing, review and approval of the Flu Bug campaign assets.   Learn more about Hightail’s collaboration features here.


South Dakota Department of Health

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