Ever since the world has started the vaccination drive, each and every person, right from health care to political officials and even celebrities and influencers, are taking the jab, posting a picture of it on social media and encouraging others to take the COVID-19 vaccine. While sending this message out is absolutely fine, sometimes brands use it as an opportunity to market and sell their products.
Earlier this year, when the vaccination drive started, the off-shoulder trend made a comeback as vaccine-ready fashion. Why? Because it was just easier to wear an off-shoulder or one-shoulder top rather than wearing a simple T-shirt that required the effort to roll up your sleeve. It is convenient but then do we really need to invest in a top just to get vaccinated? Certainly not. The trend caught on quite quickly and got e-commerce labels to sell outfits as vaccine-ready clothes on their websites.
Travel companies too tried to get in their share of customers; In November 2020, a popular Mumbai-based travel agency attempted to start vaccine tourism and offered to fly those who wanted to get their shots from New York, USA, via a four-day stay for INR 1.75 lakh (including to-and-fro airfare from Mumbai to New York, a stay for three nights and four days with breakfast and one vaccine dose).
And now that people have started getting vaccinated or have got both the doses, brands are getting more ideas and selling more products. Go to Pinterest, and you’ll see cakes with the tag of ‘Just Vaccinated’ frosted on it as well as products ranging from badges to onesies for infants with quotes like “Kiss Me I’m Vaccinated” designed on them. And yup, they’re up for sale. It’s okay to make people aware of the fact that it is important to get vaccinated, but when you attach a price tag to it, it merely takes away from the brand messaging and beats the purpose.
This just calls for the question: where can brands draw a line? Let us know your thoughts about these gimmicks in the comments below.
Photographs via Instagram and Pinterest, GIFs via Giphy