‘A Better Canada’: New Toronto campaign encourages measles vaccinations

North American city Toronto is at the forefront of a growing wave of cities and states that are trying to combat outbreaks of disease by encouraging, even demanding, that every child receive the recommended vaccinations.

Toronto’s new ad campaign says it not just wants to see more kids at school, but that it also wants to see a “better” Canada.

“A Better Canada: Always seek Vaccination” aims to show just how great of a country Canada is by persuading people to get their children vaccinated.

The long-term plan, according to Public Health Ontario, is to get every kid who is entitled to a shot to get one. If we’re going to create a better country, and live up to our collective potential, then every Canadian must be vaccinated, it argues.

Public Health Ontario says approximately one in five kids in Ontario does not receive all of their immunizations. The campaign’s motto and visuals remind people that the Canadian perspective is that vaccine is “something everyone deserves to enjoy.”

The campaign has strong social media elements – you can get your photo in there too – but it’s also about putting the personal on display, too.

For the kids who get jabs in Toronto’s schools, the hallways are decorated with the campaign slogan. Sometimes the campaign’s website captures the minds of that one child the campaign is attempting to bring into the world, with the fact that babies can be vaccinated. A rainbow bag for kids gives “something everyone deserves.”

Toronto’s ad agency, Taxi, says that what started as an “aggressive call to action” – to reach as many students as possible – quickly shifted into a celebration of Canadians, an iconography that’s been standard in the advertising of the city. The campaign’s brand evokes Canada, the country, without ever completely importing American connotations.

Public Health Ontario describes the “better Canada” as a mirror-snap back to the early 1990s, before anti-vaccination groups flourished. Anti-vaccination attitudes began to move forward in the mid-1990s, and all of those anti-vaxxers have been in and out of the news ever since.

Public Health Ontario says it was very conscious of trying to remain true to itself, but get it right. The campaign, it says, is for the city and for its citizens.

Public Health Ontario, under the leadership of Dr. Theresa Tam, believes that “only by vaccinating ourselves, can we ensure that every Canadian can live in a healthier, safer, more united, better and inclusive society.”

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