More than two years into the pandemic, conspiracy theories about Covid are on the rise -as shown in research released earlier this week that revealed huge spikes in traffic to misinformation-peddling social media accounts, inflaming tensions as the protest at Parliament built toward its violent conclusion.
And the booster shot programme has stalled well short of the high rates achieved for first and second jab vaccinations.
The invasion of Parliament's lawn aside, New Zealand has been uncommonly united on vaccination.
The 90% Project resonated with mainstream Kiwis in the run-up to Christmas.
But how do you reach the anti-vaxx fringe, populated by people who have shunned mainstream media for a social media echo chamber?
Colenso BBDO created a campaign in which videos with the same look and feel as conspiracy content were placed on misinformation-friendly sites like Bitchute. (The agency did too good a job of mimicking fake news, on the more mainstream YouTube, which took down its content.)
Each "TheActualActualTruth" clip begins with a protagonist mulling over a popular conspiracy theory - such as vaccinations being used for tracking - before starting to introduce elements of doubt ("How do square chips get into a round needle?"), without breaking character.
A 2014 study chronicled the "backfire effect" or a cognitive reflex that makes some people defensive - and in fact less likely to vaccinate their children - when presented with facts and figures.
Australian psychologist Steven Taylor recently explained: "The harder you try to push and persuade these psychologically reactive people, the more they are likely to push back because they perceive their freedoms are being threatened."
Instead, getting through to people often requires you to pitch the information in a way that resonates with their worldview - the tactic used by the agency with its "TheActualActualTruth" posts with its use of visual semiotics and linguistic cues familiar to the conspiracy crowd.
Or, as Colenso's chief innovation officer Maria Devereux puts it more plainly: "If you want to change someone's mind, you have to speak their language.
"We tried to mimic the delivery they're used to. They don't trust mainstream media. They prefer breathless rants, homemade documentaries, and weird music videos - and, to them, that's what credible information looks like."
"So for us, it was about how we dress up real facts as 'fake' news," adds Julie Darlow, one of the creatives who worked on the campaign, with Tom Darlow.
'Destabalise their thinking'
Auckland University marketing expert Bodo Lang says the look and feel of the campaign hits the mark, but adds "reversing this audience's beliefs is just too great a task".
But Julie Darlow says they're not trying to shunt from one end of the spectrum to another.
"We know that people aren't going to suddenly decide to go and get vaccinated tomorrow," Tom Darlow says.
"But we wanted to cast some seeds of doubt.
"For those people who've gone down the rabbit hole, we just kind of want to destabilise their thinking a little bit."
The agency is also assessing a possible follow-up campaign, which would lean further in the direction of addressing the psychological factors that have brought people to the point where they angrily distrust any official line.
It could be the start of a long process.
"For a variety of reasons, many members of this audience will have long and deeply held beliefs that place them on the fringe of society," Lang says.
Many may feel alienated and would have lost trust in society and particularly in large power structures, such as the Government and mainstream media. This is why it is so incredibly difficult to get this audience on board," Lang says
And a Government-funded guerilla campaign, mimicking the fake news style, would ultimately have to feature some Ministry of Health badging - which, to put it mildly, would not go down well, according to the Auckland University academic.
"As soon as the source of a message, such as the online videos, is identified as belonging to the mainstream and is being seen as wanting to persuade them, the audience will resist," Lang says.
"Advertising research has shown that the more credible the source of a message is, the more likely we are to follow the advice given."
Lang offers three strategies that could complement guerilla ads.
"A 'personal salesforce' or 'word of mouth agents' may be avenues worthwhile considering," he says.
"Providing a toolset for them to assess the value of information that they receive could be useful. This could allow the audience to diagnose the trustworthiness of communication they find."
A third issue is that social media is designed to show us more of what we have already looked at, Lang says.
"Social media makes it easy to fall far down a rabbit hole even though one was only briefly glimpsing at it. In other words, social media platforms are the architects of what we see and what we don't see.
"Thus, the third solution, which is ambitious, is changing social media algorithms to ensure users are exposed to a broad set of information, from trusted sources. This would go a long way towards preventing mis- and disinformation about covid and other contentious issues in the future."
The EU has new regulations in train that will attempt to regulate the social media algorithms that send people down rabbit holes. But even in its best-case scenario, the new rules would not come into force until January 2024 - and our Government and others outside the EU have shown little appetite for following suit.
So, for the foreseeable future, attempts to destabalise the anti-vaxxers' thinking might be our most effective tool.