DoH uses computer generation in flu jab ad

Euro RSCG London has replaced Henry Cooper with a computer-generated flu virus in a new campaign for the Department of Health, designed to boost take-up of the flu jab.

The new work targets "at risk" groups to whom flu poses a particular threat, in addition to the long-established audience of the over-65s.

The "at risk" group includes asthmatics, diabetics and people with lung complaints, heart problems and arthritis.

The 30-second TV execution is set on a bus. It opens with a close-up of a man sneezing. Computer-generated viruses swarm from his nose and mouth and glide down the bus looking for someone to infect. The viruses approach different people. However, one old man is obviously immune, because he's had his flu jab.

The press campaign aims to refute misconceptions that the jab can actually give you flu and explains how catching the virus can put you at risk of pneumonia or bronchitis.

The work, which breaks this week and runs for eight weeks, replaces the long-running campaign fronted by the British boxing icon Cooper. The new work uses the strapline: "If you knew about flu, you'd get the jab." The campaign will also use leaflets and posters, plus online and radio work.

The television commercial was created by Jon Mitchell and Orlando Warner.

It was directed by JJ Keith through Exposure. The press work was created by Ben Parton and George Leaney.

Media planning was handled by ZenithOptimedia while Starcom Mediavest handled buying.