Thursday, September 10, 2009

How to Campaign for AIDS awareness, and against the disease itself?

SHOOT: Apparently no one knows. Apparently it is an enigma, a mystery, a puzzle the marketers cannot solve. Eeek. Reaaly?

Instead of having one super sensitive customised message, instead of tip toeing around the subject there should be a dozen different messages:

1) the offensivve shocking mass murderer concept [I get that personally]
2] the educational ad [which some intelligent people will get, but many cool hip youngsters will snore through
3] the brutal truth ad, showing gritty footage of actual AIDS sufferers in their final hours [should work for all]
4] the AIDS sufferers themselves, looking healthy, saying effectively: We're just like you, don't discriminate, but please be careful if you're HIV negative
5] A complaint that SA is the rape capital of the world
6] A complaint that movies and media fan the flame of sexual appetites, and don't make condom use and AIDS part of the culture enough [some soapies aside]
7] Newsy updates on AIDS stats - deaths, infections, medical progress, if any...
8] The soapie schpiel showing how easy it can worm its way into our lives via conventional [ignorant] human behaviors.
Have more suggestions but running out of space.
Bottom line, with a disease killing millions, can you ever say TOO much? My perception is AIDS communications barely reach my radar, and THAT'S the problem. Too little is being transmitted.

One of the biggest problems in talking about HIV is the stigma around talking about sex. HIV is primarily sexually transmitted, and for the majority of the South African prudish patriarchy, this is a no-go zone. What this means then is that people have become fearful of talking about sex with their sexual partners, if we can’t talk about sex, we’re most certainly not going to talk about HIV or condom use. This goes for men and women. The 2009 Female Nation Survey revealed that 47% of the more than 8 000 women who responded NEVER use condoms when having sex. The majority of respondents to this survey were in the 25 to 34 years age group. South Africa’s current statistics show that the HIV prevalence in that age group is between 23% and 39% for women, and between 12% and 23% for men. But enough of the statistics, we all know there’s a problem — right?

What do our campaigns say? Pretty much nothing. I

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