Country music has been tapped to help with the COVID-19 vaccine push.
The Academy of Country Music has announced it will film public service announcements at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium and Grand Ole Opry featuring Eric Church, Ashley McBryde and Darius Rucker. They’re part of a growing campaign to reach rural, white conservatives, who are turning out to be the most reluctant to get vaccinated.
“Together, we will help increase awareness about the COVID-19 vaccines and connect audiences to resources where they can get answers to their top questions,” says Lisa Sherman, CEO of the Ad Council, which is coordinating the larger “It’s Up to You” campaign. “Millions of Americans are looking forward to getting back to seeing live music again, and getting educated on the vaccines is one of the best steps to getting there.”
The PSAs are set to premiere during the Academy of Country Music Awards show April 18.
The White House has been in a rush to connect with rural Americans, including through NASCAR and professional sports. The Ad Council has also just announced a partnership to reach evangelical Christians with vaccine questions.
Eric Church, who is the most recent “Entertainer of the Year” with the Country Music Association, is featured on the new cover of Billboard pitching the shots and pictured with a bandage on his shoulder. He tells the magazine he’s come to see the vaccine as a “God-sent miracle.”
“It became very clear to me that the only way to really get back to normal is through vaccinations,” he says. “You’ve got to get needles in arms.”