The Anova Health Institute’s innovative Health4Men project and NATIVE VML, a digital agency, recently took STI prevention to new heights by creating three giant tactical installations of condoms spelling the words HIV, Syphilis and Herpes on prominent walls in Cape Town. The initiative received a nod of approval in the advertising world by being nominated for a prestigious Loerie Award this past week. Even though it did not take the prize at the awards this weekend, it reignited the converstaion surrounding STIs.
Health4Men’s Glenn de Swardt congratulated NATIVE VML’s Ryan McManus on his team’s achievement. “This demonstrates the need to bring often taboo concepts, such as sexual health, HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, into the realm of mainstream advertising. We look forward to collaborating with other agencies to explore creative platforms for innovative sexual health messaging.”
Looking back at the campaign, within two hours passers-by had removed thousands of Health4Men condoms, literally causing the infections to disappear. The campaign aimed to visually connect the dots between HIV and STIs plus the importance of consistent condom usage as an essential prevention tool. If used correctly and consistently, condoms do work. They remain the cornerstone of safer sex but the general decline in condom usage and escalated rates of STI and HIV infections in South Africa clearly highlight the need for creative approaches to prevention messaging.
Health4Men’s condoms are aimed at men who have sex with men, who appreciate the slightly larger (and more comfortable) branded condoms that are available in both natural and black.
The Loeries are the most prestigious brand communication awards dedicated to celebrating creative talent in the South African advertising industry.