TBWA AIDS GRAFFITI: A message not an experience

I have seen this video on almost every blog I have visited in the past 2 or 3 days. A lot of mixed emotions and thoughts about the work have been shared, and I felt it was about time that Adjoke weighed in on the discussion.

Personally I think it is entertaining and effectively showcases the need to wrap it up against for both genders. The video portrays to men that you won’t get any unless it is wrapped while also making you question your partner choice if she doesn’t care. For women (the two I’ve asked) it makes them think that they are dirty if they aren’t using condoms.

That is where my analysis of the video will end. What I want to talk about is the missed opportunity to create an experience instead of a message. The differing view points on the video showcase that not everyone thinks the same (duh) and if we apply the point of Malcolm Gladwell’s video “What I learned from spaghetti sauce” then we know that we can’t be trying to create one message for all, but multiple messages that will connect with different people in different ways. So how do we create these multiple messages? Easily, create an experience that will connect with multiple people in different ways.

I hope that we will see more from TBWA to turn this video into a campaign full of experiences as I believe it has the foundation to really make an impact and drive change.

Some thoughts I have 🙂

The video is a wonderful element to ignite the conversation. It is controversial, entertaining, detachable and distributable and most importantly something that will be effective against a wide range of targets. What it needs to do is offer an experience that will allow different segments within their target to more access points to the message and amplify the conversation. Why not put out a video showing the making of the video. Demonstrating the “how” behind the animation that will interest curious minds of creative youth interested in animation, film, gaming, advertising, etc. This video on its own has the ability (if done right) within segments of the longtail to attract new audiences and amplify the conversation. Now, lets take our great characters and create educations videos where our simple graffiti stars showcase proper condom usage, dispel myths, discuss the stats around AIDS and provide interested youth, social workers, sex-ed teachers and more access to videos that the target will find interesting and pay attention to.

As, our characters become known and embedded within “pop-culture” they can be utilized as an iconic and simple reminder at relevant locations to “wrap it up”. Removable stickers (let them take them if they want) can be placed on bathroom walls at pubs, clubs and bars. They can be stuck on subway tiles in stations serving University areas or club district and placed on light poles.

Why not create a Facebook community where people can become fans of our little wrapped up friend. He can share information and drive contests around access to concerts, events and other promotions that fit the target. At the same time they can ask people to take pictures and share everywhere they see the stickers of our little guy. Hey, why not put stickers of him unwrapped and ask people to draw a condom on (like in the video) to any unprotected penises they see. Make them feel apart of the campaign, make it fun and create motivation for them wrap it up. If they upload a picture of the little guy they wrapped up maybe they have a chance to win something.

These community building actions allow TBWA to have an existing community of followers that makes the job of igniting the conversation even easier as they evolve their communications. Whether the evolution means new videos, creating awareness around fundraising drives, World AIDs day or whatever else they want.

I could probably write about this all day, but in 20 minutes this is what I have. Is it perfect? No. But is it better than just looking at creating a message? I believe so.

I would be proud to be connected to this video, but I would LOVE to be a part of creating the experience I shared.

We need to get over intersecting with messages and begin to connect through experiences.


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