“Don’t Get Vaccinated.” – Wilmore Funeral Home

Funeral Industry News October 4, 2021
Ryan Thogmartin

Ryan Thogmartin is the Founder and CEO of DISRUPT Media, a Funeral Home Marketing Company specializing in social media. Ryan is also a deathcare entrepreneur who has launched; DeathCareJobs.com, PriceMyFuneral.com and Funeral Nation TV.

“Don’t Get Vaccinated.” – Wilmore Funeral Home

“Don’t Get Vaccinated.” – Wilmore Funeral Home

It’s not often that a funeral home goes viral and makes national headlines. But when the message “Don’t Get Vaccinated” appeared next to the name “Wilmore Funeral Home,” both virality and news were made.

The message

On September 19th, after a Panthers win, Carolina fans noticed a truck circling around the stadium donning an interesting message. One that has stirred up quite the conversation.

It’s a clever message, reverse psychology mixed with some good ole fashioned shock value. Whatever you want to call it, it’s definitely bold. Bold is normally rare in the funeral profession- so who exactly is Wilmore Funeral Home.

All Hail the Wizard of Oz

You see, Wilmore isn’t a real funeral home. Actually, it’s the product of the advertising firm, BooneOakley (AKA the man behind the curtain).

“The idea came about when we thought about who would really benefit from people not getting the shot, and you kind of go back to the simple fact that people are dying that aren’t vaccinated, so who benefits from people dying? A funeral home,” David Oakley, owner of the ad firm, told a local news outlet.

The Website

BooneOakley built a website to go with the “new” funeral home. When you go visit, here’s what you see.

With one click of a button, you’re redirected to this page.

So, just to make things crystal clear- a real advertising agency made a fake funeral home to get people to a fake funeral home website to be redirected to a real clinic that offers vaccines.

What Does This Mean For Funeral Homes?

Some people loved this; some people thought it was tasteless. When dealing with funeral homes, that’s nothing new. Regardless of what funeral homes do, it seems there’s bound to be a mix of support and push-back. That’s due to the fact that death is always a touchy subject. Though it’s one of the few natural experiences that bind us all together, it still seems taboo.

I’m getting somewhere with this- hang with me.

Imagine this ad, but without the funeral home name associated with it. Would anyone be talking about it? No, it would hold the same place in society as a pro-vax Facebook post. Those who agree with it would applaud; those who disagree with it would just pass on. Now, when you attach it to a funeral home- the ad stirs up some emotions. It creates some conversations. Funeral homes make heads turn.

So, if we know that funeral homes can draw attention- why let non-funeral businesses beat you to the punch and reap the benefits from your profession? Maybe you don’t go as far as to say, “Don’t get vaccinated; we want your money,” but maybe you use humor with your marketing and advertising. Once again, if a joke comes from a late-night show, it is expected. If it comes from a funeral home- it gets extra attention.

Basically what I’m saying is this- funeral homes are special. The public has a different perspective of you than they do any other business. If you want, you can use that to your advantage. If the Wilmore Funeral Home proves one thing, it’s that people will give their attention to the right message from a funeral home.