Nov 10, 2007

When Is All About Sex

While there is a common perception that "sex sells" (is not so easy, folks, as a former creative, I wish it was!) sometimes sex SHOULD be the focus on an advertising campaign. Sometimes sex is exactly what a campaign should talk about, especially when we are talking prevention.

Prevention against HIV/AIDS or against unwanted pregnancies are both delicate issues and to find a good way to talk about them on TV spots is never an easy task.

That is why I am so proud of the new Argentinean campaign "Sin Triki Triki, no hay Bang Bang" (that could be translated as "Without 'Treekee Treekee', there is no Bang Bang", being 'treekee treekee' the onomatopoeia for the condom usage).

Simply put an excellent campaign (HIV Prevention) from my good friends from Dialogo Publicidad. The client? The National Health Department and the strategy as you will see, is upfront, with an 'in your face' type of message as it has to be for something like this.

Using a type of music that appeals more to certain groups (like hip hop or rap in the US) and filmed with the look and feel of what we can call the "Argentinian projects" (ghetto style projects) the song is a very catchy 'cumbia' and conveys a clear message: that if they know what is good for their own sake, without condoms they will not have sex. What is even better, it gives teenagers girls a nice, funny, almost 'light' way to remind their partners that "without treekee treekee..., there is no bang bang".

Probably this ad is not the cup of tea of the middle or upper class in Argentina but they are not the main target of the campaign. As it is, the TV spot is right on target and with the collaboration of public figures that are all scattered through the spot, it will probably achieve more than those campaigns that work based on boring studies or on fear.

Here is the ad: (you don't need to understand Spanish to understand the idea)

Meanwhile, here in the US, the government is trying to promote sexual abstinence with a campaign that of course is not working (as it tends to happen with ideas that go against nature).

“Tell your kids you want them to wait ’til they’re married to have sex" says the ad. "Success comes to kids that wait to have sex" is the slogan of the right wing half ass campaign that the Bush Administration is running here in the US (they should be sued for lying! as it is clearly not the timing but the necessary knowledge to have safe sex what can make the difference when it comes to sucess).

The difference between both campaigns make me think about an interesting point: in Argentina, State and Church are NOT separated. The 'official' religion is catholicism and catholics' views have an important say (sadly) in some of our policies... but 'thanks God' ;) the government and the Health Department have the balls to run anyway with a campaign like "Bang Bang". They understand that this is about health and that sometimes you need to face the facts and deal with them.

Here in the US on the other hand, State and Church are (supposedly) separated but the campaign run by the goverment seems to be more on the moral/religious/private side of the equation. If it was about HEALTH they’d be promoting the practice of safe sex but they are instead promoting abstinence what is in fact a personal choice more related to religious views.

What can I say? Hypocrisy does not sit well with me so I am totally inlove with the Bang Bang campaign and I totally hate the Bush approach to a similar issue.

(Sigh) So easy to remember... "Sin Triki Triki, no hay Bang Bang" :)

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