BeerVax mats meet consumers where they are

A creative team at Grey London have taken the vaccination message into pubs to target young people

Nicola Kemp

Editorial Director Creativebrief


How do you encourage drinkers to get vaccinated? You meet them where they are and you underline the value of vaccination to the things they love. 

This simple, yet often overlooked marketing truth underlines a new campaign by Grey London to encourage drinkers to get vaccinated against Covid-19 to help keep UK pubs open. 

The beer mats have been designed to look like classic beer mats and each features the call to action: ‘Get the vaccine when you can - keep the fun flowing.’

The campaign recognises the fact that pubs have been some of the hardest hit businesses in the pandemic, affecting owners and employees alike, with forced closures and financial hardship under lockdowns - and one of the main reasons that pubs have been able to reopen their doors is down to the NHS vaccination programme. 

The mats, which were the brainchild of creative agency Grey London, are currently being distributed to independent pubs who haven’t had the financial backing of chains and breweries during what have been difficult financial times during the pandemic, such as the Shortland Tavern, Bromley, and The Villager Freehouse near Meopham, Kent.

Andy McGuigan, the landlord of the Spit & Sawdust in Elephant and Castle, London, is backing the scheme and has the vaccine beer mats across his pub. He explained: “Forced closures, paying full rent, no insurance payment, extra loans (debts) and loads of no shows - tough year is an understatement. The only way we can start to fill the huge hole of last year is simple. Please get vaccinated to protect everyone.”

Liam Campbell and Thom Farrall, the creative team at Grey behind the campaign, added: “We love pubs. No not just because we enjoy a pint, but because they’re part of British culture. They’re the focal point of so many communities, the place to offload to a friend after a tough day at work, the place we exchange views, discuss ideas and make plans. We’ve all been worse off without them, not least the struggling landlords. So now they’re open again, we want to make sure they stay open, by doing the only thing we can. Getting vaccinated.”

Grey are calling on breweries and beer brands to get involved and their designers are poised tol create new vaccine beer mats featuring their brands. 

Currently, almost 55.6% of the UK’s adult population are fully vaccinated but uptake rates are slowing, particularly amongst young people.

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