SDG3 target 3.3: By 2030, end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases and combat hepatitis, water-borne diseases and other communicable diseases.
in earned media
uplift in site visits
In just six years, HIV/Aids cases in the Philippines grew by 1,038%, making it the country with the fastest growing HIV/Aids epidemic in the world. There were 20 new cases a day and as they rose, testing dropped. Why? The Philippines is a highly conservative and religious society. There was a great deal of stigma attached to being sexually active and tested for HIV.
How could we develop something that could cut through to our target audience in a culturally sensitive way, but that also had an impact that is far-reaching? How do you reach a group of people which does not want to be called out but just to be left alone?
We took on the challenge on behalf of charity Loveyourself and found the solution to drive action. On the day before World AIDS Day, Filipino internet users were greeted with the one thing guaranteed to catch attention online: an avalanche of typos.
A simple java-script generator “HIV-ified” article after article, “infecting” popular websites. With this simple script, the articles and sites added a “H” to any word with an “IV”, or a “V” to any letter sequence of “HI”. In effect, an article could contain over 20 typos reading “HIV”.
As people scrolled down to comment on the errors, the message hit them – HIV could be part of anyone’s story. Clicking on the link gave them information on how and where to get tested, counselling, and where to get support. They were also given the ability to ‘HIV-ify’ any website, article or blog to spread the message.
With absolutely no media budget, the campaign generated 59 million impressions, worth over $500,000 in earned media. On LoveYourself’s website, the sections on ‘HIV Test Sites’ and ‘I want to get tested’ received a 500% uplift in visits.
More importantly, HIV testing through LoveYourself’s testing facilities increased by 60%, making the year of this campaign a record for testing. From an average testing rate of 718 monthly in the year previous, testing increased to 1,066 in the first month of the campaign and continued to increase to 1,425 in January the following year, and 1,357 in February. This was truly a campaign and an issue no-one could ignore.
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