A truck outside of North Carolina’s Bank of America Stadium on Sunday with the message “Don’t Get Vaccinated” was intended to motivate residents to get vaccinated.
Photos of the truck and its advertisement from the Wilmore Funeral Home rapidly circulated on Twitter.
However, the Wilmore Funeral Home does not exist.
— d (@yourgeniushands) September 19, 2021
This Wilmore Funeral Home truck made laps around Bank of America Stadium before the Panthers game in Charlotte this morning.
— MeidasTouch.com (@MeidasTouch) September 19, 2021
The business’s website, which was listed on the truck, has one message: “Get vaccinated now. If not, see you soon.”
The only outbound link leads to StarMed Healthcare, a healthcare center in Charlotte where people can get the COVID-19 vaccine.
Boone Oakley, an ad agency in Charlotte, created the ad to drive up vaccination rates in the state.
The agency’s president, David Oakley, told Newsweek, “A lot of pro-vaccine advertising is very straightforward. We thought, ‘Is there a way to turn it around and do it from a different perspective?'”
“Almost everyone here [at Boone Oakley] got their vaccines at StarMed,” he added, telling the outlet that while his team was “bit nervous about the campaign, if just one person gets vaccinated because of it — it’s worth it.”
Dr. Arin Piramzadian, StarMed Healthcare’s chief medical officer, echoed this sentiment.
“If this saves one person’s life by getting vaccinated, I’m 100% for it,” he told The Charlotte Observer. He noted that StarMed did not pay for the stunt.
“We know that 99% of people who are ending up in the hospital and dying are unvaccinated,” Piramzadian said. “If that statistic does not scare people, I’m not sure what does. Perhaps a dark humor aspect such as this one does catch someone’s attention.”
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reports that 63% of the adult population has been fully vaccinated and 68% has received at least one dose. Additionally, 87% of state residents over the age of 65 have been fully vaccinated.