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CMT made a commitment to use our expertise and resources to assist with vaccine confidence messaging and communication in South Africa. While being part of many consortiums and task teams assisting the National Department of Health (NDOH) with vaccine communication, CMT’s efforts focused on working with UN Verified and UNICEF on the development and expansion of the Zwakala campaign. UN Verified, using similar communication testing and development strategies as CMT, piloted Zwakala in Khayelitsha. The original Zwakala campaign focused on youth aged 18-24 and focused on non-pharmaceutical messages such as wearing masks, social distancing, sanitising and ventilation. In collaboration with NDOH andUN Verified, UNICEF and CMT expanded the Zwakala campaign to include vaccine confidence messaging and increased the target audience to 18-33 year olds.  CMT implemented a series of focus groups with the target audience in six languages and tested Zwakala’s look and feel and additional messaging around vaccine confidence with a broader audience. CMT then produced short 30-second video and radio clips with real people who represented the target audience and who were champions in their communities. Zwakala’s format showed potential for both reach and efficacy with the target audience and new partners and donors joined the campaign. With the support of CHAPS, The Aurum Institute, Youth Health Africa, Accenture, Project Last Mile and USAID, Zwakala has been able to expand to a national campaign that is aligned with NDOH activities.  As the central communications and media production partner, CMT has produced 54 television public service announcements (PSAs) and 66 radio PSAs in six languages, covering 4 provinces. The casting of the community champions and the use of high segmentation and language spread ensured that the target audience related to the TV and radio materials.The PSAs were broadcast on SABC 1, 2 and 3, MultiChoice, Ster-Kinekor and ViacomCBS Networks Africa, covering a wide distribution range and reach. Zwakala also includes outdoor media in the form of murals, information pamphlets, posters, uniforms, brand merchandise and social media pages. The Zwakala Facebook and Instagram pages went live on the 20th of August, the first day when over-18s could register and get vaccinated. It has since grown to 1,182 on Facebook and 557 on Instagram. All Zwakala materials carry a unique WhatsApp number so that our target audience can contact us or ask questions. CMT measures the frequently asked questions and uses these to adjust and measure the campaigns efficacy. We also assist people to register on EVDS via Facebook and the WhatsApp line.

It is important to note that all of these materials were produced over a period of 3.5 months – from casting, creative conceptualisation, pre-production, production to post-production and delivery. This was an incredible feat for the CMT production team, who have all put in significant time, effort and dedication to get the work out. Zwakala continues with on the ground activations and rollout of the campaign material until the end of April 2022. Hopefully by then we will have vaccinated the entire population.

Zwakala, join us! Take your shot!