Insurers, food companies and even tech companies are unveiling promotions aimed at convincing people to get the hang of it in exchange for savings and freebies.
Experts say the offers give corporate weight to an important cause, but also encourage consumers to return to their favorite stores or discover new local brands amid temporary lockouts.
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“You might be reluctant to overexpose yourself in non-discretionary venues and that’s all part of that strategy,” said Joanne McNeish, a professor at Ryerson University specializing in marketing.
“It’s a way to carefully market their brand to people.”
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Vaccine promotions are used by Canadian companies, including Sombrero Latin Food.
The grocery supplier offers Latin American sweets to people who post a vaccine selfie or help relatives or neighbors make appointments, but stresses that vaccination is a “personal decision” and the promotion is not aimed at not to pressure people.
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“We just wanted to spread some joy to those who felt comfortable,” said Corina Pardo, Business Development Manager. “After waiting so long, we wanted every vaccination to be a little party.”
Meanwhile, Polarity Brewing in Whitehorse will be offering vaccinated customers a $ 6 discount on a purchase of beer or food.
In Kitchener, Ont., TheMuseum will offer free entry to vaccinated as part of a campaign called Jabbed Like Jagger – a reference to Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger, who promoted vaccination and will feature largely in an upcoming exhibition on his group.
Manulife Financial Inc. will offer some of its vaccinated clients enrolled in its Vitality program reward points that can be used for gift cards or gadgets and the Toronto financial app Drop is offering $ 50 in cash rewards to users who post a vaccine selfie on social media and label the brand.
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Such offers build on an American trend that materialized when large-scale vaccination began and the country had to contend with hesitant, anti-vaxxers and people forgoing their second dose.
Businesses wanted to help. Burger joint White Castle gave away dessert on a free stick, Budweiser gave $ 5 to spend on beer, Greenhouse of Walled Lake in Michigan made available free cannabis pre-rolls, and Krispy Kreme promised a donut every days for the rest of the year. .
While most praised the incentives, critics complained that frequent consumption of donuts was unhealthy and that Krispy Kreme had to fight back.
Boston Pizza also experienced a problem with a promotion, when the chain’s Front Street store in Toronto offered a 15% discount to customers who were vaccinated.
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Communications director Marian Raty said in an email that the location was ordered to end the offer, without providing further details. The location did not respond to requests for comment.
McNeish, however, considered the discount to be “smart” because it was small enough to be attractive but did not inspire much abuse and was offered by a location across from a vaccination center and in an area where business has slowed down considerably.
“In this poor place, foot traffic was almost zero,” she said. “They must be delighted that the foot traffic with the vaccination clinic is perhaps bringing them back to normal.”
While it is difficult to measure the likelihood that any of the promotions will generate repeat customers or encourage hesitant Canadians to get the vaccine, McNeish believes the offers are a welcome bonus for those eager to receive the vaccine and l ‘one of the many compelling factors for others.
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“It definitely nibbles the edges of people who are just soft hesitant and helps show another reason (for getting the shot),” she said.
Dr Nazeem Muhajarine, epidemiologist and professor at the University of Saskatchewan specializing in community health, said people ideologically against vaccines are unlikely to be swayed by the rewards, but can encourage the undecided.
“They could jump off the fence and get vaccinated,” he said. “Something like that could tip the scales. “
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While Muhajarine has yet to notice any specific deals in Saskatoon, he has been impressed to see companies that have struggled during the pandemic were willing to use their brand recognition to get an important message across.
“They’re not just complaining about the economic downturn or that they’ve been asked to shut down or just deliver curbside,” he said.
“Businesses want to be part of the solution.”