When we saw the Vaccine Facts series, we thought it was a pretty nifty way to get a the complex idea of COVID-19 vaccines across our wide and diverse Aotearoa population, but in an easy and understandable way – so we got in touch with the team at Daylight Creative to ask them a few more questions about the project.
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The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC) are responsible for leading the government’s national communications and public engagement campaign during the ongoing Covid-19 response. As part of their work for the vaccine rollout, they needed content that could educate the public on the science behind the vaccine.
With many New Zealanders feeling a sense of uncertainty towards the vaccine, there was an urgent need to share scientific information so that people could feel empowered to make a well informed decision. By reassuring the public on the robustness of the science, it would help with the ultimate goal of increasing vaccine uptake around the country.
Daylight Creative were already actively working in the space of science communications, producing a breadth of Covid-19 communications work with the World Health Organization. DPMC engaged them to conceptualise, produce and deliver content that could communicate the important vaccine science in a digestible and entertaining way for the general public of New Zealand.
The design response:
Daylight Creative started by looking at the types of information that DPMC wanted to communicate, which included things like the microbiological science of the virus and the vaccine, as well as information about the process of vaccine development and Medsafe approvals.
“It’s a huge brief – there was a lot of very complicated information to explain, to an extremely broad audience – the general public of New Zealand – particularly those who are reluctant or cautious about engaging on the topic” says Toby Morris, Group Creative Director.
“From the work we were already doing in this area we had two key insights that informed our creative approach – we knew that cautious audiences are more receptive to being informed by trusted friends and whānau than from authority or government figures, and we knew from experience the power and efficiency of taking a visually led approach to explaining complicated concepts.”
“This led us to the idea of using animation to create a group of relatable everyday characters who act and speak in a distinctly kiwi way, and letting them speak directly to the audience in a relaxed and conversational way, using visual metaphors to explain the science.”
They worked closely with DPMC as well as the Ministry of Health to refine the science topics to be covered, which included what a virus is, how vaccines work, why virus variants are produced and what mRNA technology means. Scripts were brought to life through working with a team of science writers and creative copywriters, to ensure the outputs were educational and thorough, as well as fun and engaging.
Bringing eight characters to life for the series, they wanted to create characters that were a mixture of ages, genders, ethnicities and abilities, in an effort to create a series that would represent the diversity of the audience. The eight characters were Māori, Pacific Islander, Chinese, Indian and Pakeha – across different ages, with different abilities and in different social settings. These fun character personalities helped inform how each of the science topics could best be communicated.
For example, there is Kahu, the kaumatua, who brought an authoritative māori voice to the opening and closing of the series as he explained the important role that vaccination had in helping New Zealand return to a sense of normality. And Malosi, the Samoan dad, who takes us on a summer roadtrip with him and his whānau while using a road trip metaphor to explain how the Covid-19 vaccine was developed so quickly.
The series was produced by a team from within Daylight Creative, including creative direction from Toby Morris and Ezra Whittaker, and campaign management from Claire Choe and Abbey Parker, as well as external collaborators – illustrator Hope McConnell (Tauranga), animator Chris Callus (Wellington) and motion-graphic artist Vania Chandrawidjaja (Auckland). Vanessa Manhire (Dunedin) was the key science writer honing the science while keeping it accurate, and India Hendrikse (Waikato) and Bel Hawkins (Auckland) wrote the final scripts.
Studio – Daylight Creative
Client – Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet
Campaign – NZ Vaccines Facts Animation Series
Dates – Campaign rollout July 2021 – November 2021