The Pope and the Ad Council Team Up for a Vaccination PSA

By Kyle O'Brien 

The Pope is raising his voice to urge people to get vaccinated against Covid-19. In a public service announcement in conjunction with the Ad Council and Covid Collaborative, Pope Francis and six cardinals and archbishops from North, Central and South America state their cases for people to get the vaccine.

The PSA is meant to increase confidence in the Covid-19 vaccines, specifically in communities disproportionately affected by the virus. It represents the first ever Ad Council campaign designed for and distributed to a global audience, with messaging in the video delivered in English, Spanish and Portuguese reminding viewers that Covid-19 vaccines are safe and effective and save lives.


The new creative, made in cooperation with the Vatican’s Dicastery for Integral Human Development, is a part of the Ad Council and Covid Collaborative’s Covid-19 Vaccine Education Initiative.

“Thanks to God’s grace and to the work of many, we now have vaccines to protect us from Covid-19,” Pope Francis says in the PSA. “Getting the vaccines that are authorized by the respective authorities is an act of love. I pray to God that each one of us can make his or her own small gesture of love, no matter how small, love is always grand.”

Worldwide, Covid-19 cases are on the rise, especially across North, Central and South America in countries like Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico and Peru, where rates of individuals fully vaccinated range from only 5.5% (Honduras) to 30% (El Salvador). Though access to vaccines continues to be a challenge, confidence in the vaccines also presents a hurdle.

To reach this global audience and instill confidence in the vaccines as part of their broader “It’s Up To You” campaign, the Ad Council and Covid Collaborative partnered with Pope Francis, archbishop José Horacio Gomez Velasco (Los Angeles), cardinal Carlos Aguiar Retes (Mexico City), cardinal Óscar Rodríguez Maradiaga (Tegucigalpa, Honduras), cardinal Cláudio Hummes (Sao Paolo), cardinal Gregorio Rosa Chávez (San Salvador, El Salvador) and archbishop Héctor Miguel Cabrejos Vidarte (Trujillo, Perú).

“To the world’s billion-plus Catholics, the Pope is one of the most trusted messengers and holds unparalleled influence,” Lisa Sherman, president and CEO of the Ad Council, said in a statement. We are extremely grateful to him and the cardinals and archbishops for lending their voices and platforms to help people across the globe feel more confident in the vaccines.”

The campaign was developed with production companies Landia and Big Star. The overarching creative platform was developed by Pereira O’Dell, with additional campaign assets created by Joy Collective, Alma, iHeartMedia and Group SJR, among others.