Monday, November 16, 2009

Sexual social marketing for HIV/AIDS

Controversy is brewing about some sexually explicit posters hyping the Minnesota AIDS Walk. The organization is using skin to create awareness about the event, and headlines such as "How much will you raise?"

The campaign also includes outtakes of the photo shoot that are posted on YouTube. The videos will probably raise as much if not more awareness than the posters.

Brent Mackie's masters thesis contains a comprehensive review of sexually-explicit promotional approaches for HIV/AIDS campaigns. The idea, especially for the posters, is to grab attention and raise attention among those in the target audience. Some people think the sexual approach stereotypes Gays and that advertisers should appeal to our higher instincts. But Mackie's interviews with campaign organizers reveal that they believe the materials should speak directly to the people most at risk--young Gays in this case.

If creating attention and awareness are the goal, these messages will effectively spread the word.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

"OM3!" CW hypes Gossip Girl threesome

I missed the episode, but looks like Dan got entangled in a menage a trios in the most recent episode of "Gossip Girl." CW is hyping the episode with promos hearlding "OM3!" instead of it's usual "OMG."

Ad Age's Brian Steinberg asks, "So why is it that whenever TV shows depict people engaging with multiple sexual partners (not particularly common, mind you, on ABC and the rest), the critics come out in force?" He's refering to condemnation from the Parents Television Council.

It's clear in this case that viewer age is the vital concern. Today, adults can handle sexual themes. With kids, however, showcasing threesomes is a different matter. Kids learn from what they see on TV. They might not go out and "do it" (immediately), but they'll think about and likely come to the conclusion that it is more prevalent among teens than in reality.

More important, CW is trying to attact teen eyeballs. How better to do that than with sex?