The film 12 Monkeys features a delightful scene in which the unhinged character Jeffery Goines (played by Brad Pitt) explains to the protagonist James Cole (Bruce Willis) how 18th Century doctor Ignaz Semmelweis attempted to convince those practising medicine to wash their hands as a defence against germs. When Semmelweis first proposed this, the thought of micro-organsims invisible to the naked eye was met with suspicion with many doctors dismissing the hypothesis as madness.
Since then, things have changed, and most today accept that, despite being invisible, germs do exist and carry the potential of infecting people. The problem however that this has not removed the fact that micro-organisms floating in the air remain invisible, meaning that humans remain prone to ignoring them.
Every year, this poses a problem for the National Influenza Specialist Group (NISG) when it comes to reminding Kiwis to get vaccinated during the flu season. And for this reason, the organisation has in its latest campaign visualised flu-spreading germs as a blue dust-like substance that moves from sneeze to person to hands to traffic lights and so on.
The campaign is led with a TVC by Insight NZ and is also accompanied by online executions, print ads and a series of radio ads that all spread the message of how influenza could be encountered anywhere.
In its previous influenza campaign, Insight NZ used a domino metaphor to show the knock-on effect of the flu. And this campaign proved particularly successful, leading to the delivery of 1.25 million vaccinations in 2013.
Last year, this campaign also picked up a TVNZ-NZ Marketing Award in the Healthcare category, and the National Influenza Specialist Group (NISG) will hope that the latest effort proves similarly effective.