President Joe Biden has added another recruit to his army of influencers the White House is using to boost Gen Z vaccination rates: ‘Dude with Sign.’
Seth Phillips, the face of the viral protest Instagram account @DudeWithSign, visited the White House last Friday, where he discussed the COVID-19 vaccine effort with the president and then posed for a picture in the Rose Garden, a White House official told DailyMail.com.
Of course, the picture included signs.
For Phillips it was: ‘Let’s look out for each other and get vaccinated.’
Biden, sporting aviators and that tan suit, held up one that read: ‘This dude gets it, folks.’
‘The White House approached Seth who was more than willing to help us get the word out about vaccinations in a creative way to their youthful audience,’ an official told DailyMail.com.
The account was born after Phillips and Jerry Media founder Elliot Tebele took to the streets of New York with a cardboard sign in October 2019 that read, ‘Stop replying-all to company-wide emails,’ according to a profile in Forbes.
They shared a second sign posting, ‘Seinfeld is way better than Friends’ – staging it strategically below a Friends billboards – and the content started to get traction.
From there the @DudeWithSign account was born.
Today it boasts 7.6 million followers.
In March 2020, Phillips collaborated with the World Health Organization to dispel misinformation about COVID-19.
He held up signs including ‘stop touching your face,’ ‘wash your damn hands,’ and ‘clean your damn phone, too.’
Other COVID-related posts included, ‘nice weather doesn’t mean COVID is over,’ ‘thank you doctors, nurses and medical staff,’ and ‘there’s no excuse not to wear a mask on Halloween.’
More recently his signs teased people overzealously sharing their vaccine selfies.
‘You can get the vaccine without posting it,’ one read.
White House officials have argued that to get Gen Z vaccinated they need to meet young people where they are, which is on platforms like TikTok and Instagram.
While more than 70 percent of the adults over 40 have been fully vaccinated, as of Tuesday, just 44.9 percent of 18 to 24 year olds have been fully vaccinated.