Terrence Higgins Trust (THT), the UK’s biggest HIV and sexual health charity, has teamed up with London agency G2 Joshua to launch a new strategic communications programme.
The innovative campaign centres on the use of social media, supported by integrated creative activity, to address one of the charity’s most significant concerns – the proportion of gay men in the UK with HIV who are not getting tested for HIV.
This insight was found to be a key concern in an earlier collaboration between G2 and THT during 2010, which provided a social listening platform for gay men to talk between themselves, in a secure and anonymous environment.
The idea behind the communications strategy was to position THT as a facilitator of peer-to-peer conversations – encouraging gay men to share their experiences around HIV testing as a means to breaking down taboos and addressing barriers.
This strategy has been executed through an empowering creative thought, which centres around the simple, narrative phrase: ‘I did it’, enforcing both the practical and emotional benefits of getting tested. The concept also lends itself to creative standout through a playful use of innuendo, supported by a visually arresting three-dimensional illustrative approach.
The ‘I did it’ campaign was funded by the Department of Health through CHAPS, a partnership of community organisations, which is coordinated by THT and carries out HIV prevention work with gay men in England. Activity ran in outdoor, gay press, radio, digital and social media, all pointing to one destination: the campaign website www.ididit.org.uk.
The site encourages men to read others’ stories and input their own, as well as providing a discussion forum to facilitate conversation. Judging by the activity that’s already been taking place (over 100 stories have been posted), the campaign appears to have opened the door to a place where gay men feel safe to share often sensitive and emotive stories about the benefits of overcoming their fears.
Dominic Edwardes, Marketing Director, Terrence Higgins Trust comments: “The refreshing use of insight to create this campaign allows us to accurately target the gay and bisexual audience in a way that they want to be spoken to. G2 Joshua worked closely with us right from the beginning, and we are excited to watch the results delivered by this campaign in encouraging men to have an HIV test.”
Tim Hipperson, CEO, G2 Joshua comments: “This multi-platform execution demonstrates our ability to deliver fully integrated solutions. Using our previous knowledge of the most pressing issues for this target audience, we are able to create a focused and effective social listening campaign and genuinely believe that this will make a real difference in attitudes to HIV testing.”
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