I was innocently surfing along on my usual internet routine the other day when I stumbled upon a hair-raising HIV/AIDS awareness ad:
The text reads: “Without a condom you’re making love with AIDS. Protect yourself.”
The ad was produced by a French NGO called AIDES (“aide” means “support” or “help” in French), which was founded by Daniel Defert in 1984 following the death of his partner, philosopher (and former Berkeley professor) Michel Foucault. AIDES now operates in over 70 small towns and villages within France, and is recognized as one of the most important European HIV/AIDS NGOs.
While I was googling around to find out more about AIDES, I also (not surprisingly) stumbled upon ads from other NGOs which, through YouTube’s helpful “related” feature, led me to even more anti-AIDS ads — some good, some great, some not so amazing. Continue reading this entry if you’d like to to see some of the best, in my humble opinion.
Notably, most of these ads were produced for broadcasting in the First World, where infection rates are low and AIDS is now considered a “manageable” disease. Some of the ads will make you laugh. Some will shock you. Some might even warm your heart. But after watching several ad spots clearly designed to shock and scare, I can’t help but wonder, “Is there such a thing as overkill when it comes to AIDS awareness?” (Pun not intended.)
Here’s the female counterpart to the first AIDES ad:
Another popular ad campaign of AIDES says, “We should all be worried about AIDS.” Even Superman.
AIDES has also produced several viral ad spots under the slogan, “Live Long Enough to Find the Right One. Protect Yourself.” This one caters to the gay men among us:
A very awesome similar one, catering to heterosexual women, can be found here.
For more of your gay viewing pleasure, we come to Israel, where the Israel AIDS Task Force produced this ad:
These ads were produced for MTV as a part of the TurnOn.tv campaign (part of “Staying Alive“), much of which attempted to make an impression through humor.
“Condoms vs. AIDS”
“The Joy of Non-Sex.” Abstinence anyone?
Many of the ads attempted to shock the complacency out of viewers. Interestingly, a large portion of them used guns to leave an impression (or, perhaps more appropriately, bullet hole). Check out a German ad:
“Only 0.003 mm latex lie between life and death.” For more on this campaign, click here.
“Roulette,” produced for the aforementioned MTV campaign.
“Shots” was also produced for the MTV campaign.
The question left in my mind is, “How much is too much?” For one, what happens to our impressions of people with AIDS when we are associating the disease with massive scorpions and gunshots to the face? The other question is just simply whether or not people should be shocked to death over this issue. Perhaps I am too complacent?