G2 United Kingdom, one of the UK’s leading integrated marketing agencies, is rolling out a groundbreaking campaign for HIV and sexual health charity Terrence Higgins Trust (THT) asking gay and bisexual men to tell the charity what really matters when it comes to sex.
G2 UK is using social media, powered by the agency’s expertise in interactive marketing, as a listening tool to underpin the campaign.
THT has been a trusted voice in the gay community for more than 25 years, talking to gay men about HIV and other STIs, and how to protect themselves. In the past, the charity has focused its communications on raising awareness about HIV, but G2 UK challenged THT to take a radical new approach with its strategy.
The new initiative has been funded by the Department of Health through CHAPS, a partnership of community organisations, which are co-ordinated by THT and carry out HIV prevention work with gay men in England. The campaign invites gay men to take part in an online discussion about sex and gay life.
As part of a truly co-created campaign running during April, the conversations will inform THT’s future communications strategies.
The drive features visually striking creative featuring the line ‘It’s my turn to talk’. The ads will run online, in print titles, outdoor formats across London Underground network, and in bars and clubs in major UK cities. The initial activity is designed to invite gay men to join in a much bigger conversation about sex.
Three different digital listening platforms have been created to support this phase, including a private form where men will be invited to take part in discussions, vote in polls and write their own diaries. Gay men will also be able to share their views via the ‘We Listen’ Facebook page, or by using the hashtag (#welisten) when on Twitter.
Key findings from the listening activity will be published on the microsite welisten.org.uk, and will be used to inform the next phase of the campaign.
Alan Wardle, Head of Health Promotion at THT, said, “While we’ve always ensured gay men are involved in our campaigns, this is the first time we’ve sparked a conversation with such large numbers. It’s also the first time we’ve used social media to listen.
"For almost 30 years we’ve talked to men from all walks of life, but we are now asking gay men to join in on the conversation, and talk to each other about what matters to them, so we can develop campaigns that will really have an impact on HIV.
"It’s vital to our work that we talk to gay men on their terms, and we are encouraging them to log on and tell us exactly what they think.”