Forget TGI Fridays—this fall there’s a new end of week celebration called "Flu Shot Friday." Created by Sanofi Pasteur and the American Nurses Association, the campaign to drive more flu vaccinations comes with the added star power of “Dirty Dancing” actress Jennifer Grey.
Grey takes a page from another one of her famous roles as the uptight older sister in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” for the effort’s public service announcement.
“Everyone remembers the kid who was made into some sort of hero for skipping school, but why? I mean, taking ‘me time’ is great, but there are ways to make it a bit more meaningful,” Grey says in the opening of the TV spot.
She goes on to promote getting a flu shot as a great way to do just that.
“So what are you waiting for? Don’t risk sick days stuck in bed with the flu. Get your flu shot and take some time for yourself,” she adds later.
Sanofi is partnering with the American Nurses Association (ANA) for the second year on the campaign. Taking Friday—or any other day set aside to get a flu shot and relax, as the campaign website explains—is a new approach this year. As the COVID-19 pandemic drags on, people are simply exhausted, Dan DiVito, head of the Sanofi Pasteur U.S. respiratory portfolio.
“Take a day, take some time for yourself and your own mental health but also your physical health with a flu shot and go do something fun,” he said. “We knew taking a dark and disease-focused tone just wouldn’t break through with everything else going on in the world.”
The awareness campaign this year is even more important after last year’s nonexistent flu season, said ANA President Ernest Grant.
“All the things that worked really well last year because of COVID also helped to suppress the spread of the flu and colds, but all those are not in place this year,” he said.
The just-launched Flu Shot Friday campaign includes the PSA, digital and social media posts along with media interviews by Grey and Grant. Its website includes information about the risks of flu along with a local flu vaccine locator.