“I did it because I wanted to be with my loved ones. As cheesy as it sounds, I want to be with my family and close friends at a time like this, ”said streamer and content creator Luminosity Gaming, 21, who lives in Houston, TX.
Luminosity Gaming is owned by Toronto-based Enthusiast Gaming and was recruited by the United States Ad Council last year to help encourage Millennials and Gen Zs to get the jab. They came up with the #LGIgottheshot vaccination campaign, which promised hour-long streams with Luminosity talents like Pareno, signed jerseys, and one-on-one sessions with their biggest players.
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Nearly 5.5 million people took part in the ad campaign, which experts say may become more mainstream as lawmakers and public health officials turn to alternative methods to entice younger people to opt out. get vaccinated.
In the United States, Anthony Fauci has agreed to do a “TikTok tour,” joining several platform figures for a series of discussions on COVID-19 vaccines, and the state of Alabama is hosting a TikTok competition for Americans. ages 13 to 29.
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“Gen Zers, they no longer watch television and listen to the radio, but [they do] play video games and when they’re done playing video games, they watch other people play video games, ”said Adrian Montgomery, CEO of Enthusiast Gaming.
According to Montgomery, Enthusiast Gaming interacts with approximately 300 million Gen X and Millennials each month through its gaming websites, YouTube channels, and EA sports organizations. He said there “definitely seems to be a disconnect” between business and governing bodies when it comes to engaging with young people, an issue he says businesses like to solve.
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They do different things. They are consuming media and entertainment in new ways that have never been explored before, and so the old playbook doesn’t work, ”he said of Gen Z.
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“They don’t want the hard sell, so we were about to raise awareness and give them a way to get more information about the vaccine. This in itself what we determined with the Ad Council was a huge success.
Canada is also getting creative with its vaccination campaigns. Provincial and municipal governments in Canada are also turning to more engaging methods.
More than 25,000 Canadians lined up for the jab on Toronto Vaccine Day at the city’s Scotiabank Arena, where some vaccinated won tickets to the Toronto Maple Leaf or the Toronto Raptor for an upcoming game. Air Canada and WestJet have organized travel lotteries offering free flights to vaccinated Canadians. A Winnipeg cannabis company even handed out free weed.
Dr Tam addresses slowing COVID-19 vaccination rates in young adults
But despite all efforts, health officials say there aren’t enough young Canadians to donate their guns.
As of July 3, two in three Canadians between the ages of 12 and 39 had received at least one dose, but that leaves 4.5 million Canadians in that age group without any protection.
In comparison, nearly four in five people between 40 and 60 receive at least one dose, and more than nine in 10 people over 60.
Marcel Danesi, professor emeritus of anthropology at the University of Toronto, said the reason young Canadians might avoid the vaccine could be because governments are not communicating effectively on the social media used by young people.
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“Each generation speaks a kind of language, not a slang, a language, a way of thinking about things that is symbolic and critical for the group and the state of mind of this generation,” he said.
Danesi said governments are “doing their best,” but failing to exploit the way Millennials and Gen Z think.
“Humor worked at the start of the pandemic,” he said as an example. “Pictures and memes that make them laugh, but also make them think thoughtfully about what’s going on. “
Additionally, he said that providing influential young Canadians with the resources they need from government agencies, health agencies or physicians could be essential in helping young people who may be reluctant to get vaccinated or feel overwhelmed.
“Words are like thought capsules. If you get the right words in the right clips, they change your mind, ”added Danesi.
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This rings true for young people like Pareno, who told Global News she felt many people her age seemed overloaded with information and exhausted trying to sift through the superfluous details surrounding vaccines and drugs. appointments for vaccines to get what they need.
“Once I was able to guide myself on all the questions I was asking myself, I was able to get there,” she said.
” And [governments] broke it down into what information is needed and what information [youth] need to use to get to where they want, so I feel like they would be able to make the decision of what makes them comfortable.
The best way to reach your generation?
“Social networks,” she said.
“I’ll be completely honest. My generation loves games, my generation loves Instagram, social media, TikTok, everything like that.
– With files from The Canadian Press and The Associated Press
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