Seven international ad agencies have joined forces with the Global Media AIDS Initiative (GMAI) to create a series of spots to raise awareness of AIDS. The first 24 spots in the campaign will debut on MTV channels globally on World AIDS Day, December 1.
The ads form part of the Staying Alive campaign, which launched nine years ago with a one-off documentary and now encompasses documentaries, a website, concerts and forums with leading politicians. This is the first year that the advertising industry has been involved with the campaign. “We realised that the GMAI needed to involve advertising agencies, so we approached people in Cannes,” explains Georgia Arnold, VP of Public Affairs for MTV. “There were no restrictions placed on the agencies. They were given background info on each of the core subjects, and then the scripts were only reviewed to check that they were factually correct, there was no creative interference.”
This freedom means that the films cover a broad range of styles, from the humorous to the heavy. I80 Amsterdam, for example, has contributed a simple animation of a talking penis, while Ogilvy has created a 70s style commercial showcasing the joys of not having sex. On the more serious side, Ogilvy has also created a chilling film, directed by Stink‘s Neil Harris, which shows three men pulling out handguns and shooting their partners after having sex, with the guns representing the killer virus they have just passed on. On a similar theme, Y&R has created a commercial featuring a couple engaging in casual conversation while playing a game of Russian roulette.
The seven agencies that have contributed to the project are 180 Amsterdam, Lowe Worldwide, Ogilvy, WK 12, Cake, Young & Rubicam, and WPP. The spots were all created for free by the agencies and will be made available to all MTV channels globally at no charge, reaching a potential audience of over a billion people worldwide. “We look to empower people, particularly our female audience,” continues Arnold. “We also want to encourage our audience to talk more about sex and AIDS more openly, and also to tackle the stigma and discrimination of people living with HIV.”
The first 24 spots can be previewed online here, and more ads will be added to the site in the new year.