How to get people talking about condoms, in 4 easy steps!

The BBC World Trust is wrapping up a large public health campaign in India in an effort to curb HIV infections. The year long multimedia campaign began in December 2007 and has been running in 4 states. Its objective is to “make condoms more socially acceptable and improve the image of the condom user as a smart and responsible person.”

The campaign included four stages:

Stage 1- A Contest

A riddle was  distributed (via radio, tv, billboards and buses, etc) and people were encouraged to call in with their answer. Then one of the people with the correct answer would win a free cell phone with paid air time!

Nearly 400,000 calls were made by people attempting to answer the riddle, and 25 winners were randomly selected and won a camera phone with paid talk time. According to the BBC World Trust’s impact evaluation of the phase, the campaign reached 52 million men in just 3 weeks.

Stage 2- Changing sport

The second phase of this campaign came in the form of tv, radio and print ads, which integrated local culture with the message. The ads depict a kabaddi match, a team sport where chanting the word “kabaddi” during play is part of the game. In the ad, our hero wins the match by chanting “condom” instead of “kabaddi.” The ad also places more emphasis on an animated parrot, who appears throughout the campaign.

Stage 3- Ringtone

The objective of this phase was to show social support for condoms, and it used a “condom a cappella” ringtone to do it! The ringtone can be downloaded for free on the CondomCondom.org website or through an SMS shortcode in India, and it was promoted through several platforms incuding websties, online games, mobile advertising, as well as tv and radio ads. So far more than 675,000 download requests have been processed, and the website has received over 3.5 million hits. The tagline “the one who understands is a winner” is further reinforced in this phase.

Stage 4- What’s in a name?

This final phase comes in the form of a tv ad (on both broadcast television and in cinemas), and introduces a puppy named…what else? Condom.

The campaign ends this month, but already its producers say it has reached over 100 million men and women in India. A full impact evaluation report will be available in mid-2009.

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One response to “How to get people talking about condoms, in 4 easy steps!

  1. Pingback: A Puppy Named What? Condom Acceptability PSAs in India « Elpis and Justice

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