Brands aim to empower people this World AIDS Day

World AIDS Day, which gives people an opportunity to unite in the fight against HIV, takes place on Tuesday 1st December (which also happens to be Giving Tuesday too).

With 100,000 people in the UK living with HIV, and 34 million globally, it’s a significant campaign brought to life with a simple red ribbon. At 27-years-old, the campaign which fights to save lives, continues to grow year-on-year.

So, we’ve decided to check out three spin-off marketing stunts – the only countdown list not to include Charlie Sheen – which are attempting to grab people’s attention this year.

Durex’s #CondomEmoji
A campaign isn’t a campaign anymore without an emoji angle – and you can expect to see a lot more smiley faces knocking about after the Oxford Dictionary revealed ”as its ‘Word of the Year‘.

Durex's condom emoji petition is underway

And Durex is no different. After research revealed that a third of 16 to 25-year-olds don’t care about safe sex, and almost half don’t think they’ll be affected by HIV, it’s no surprise the condom brand is lobbying Unicode – the developers behind the emoticons – to propose a series of safe-sex icons.

With 84% of young people claiming they feel more comfortable using images to discuss sex, it’s hoped the emoji will empower their online conversations, making them easier and fun.

If successful, the proposal (to be submitted on World AIDS Day) would help the brand to shift gears – becoming rooted in changing people’s behaviours. An achievement which is guaranteed to make marketers hot under the collar.

Hornet’s Blue Ribbon Boys 
The MSMGF, a global advocacy network that supports men with HIV, has teamed up with Hornet (a gay dating app) to launch an in-app questionnaire to prompt users to think about their sexual health.

Based on their answers, those who qualify will receive a blue ‘twibbon’ (an alternative to the World AIDS Day red icon) to add to their profile picture – symbolising their commitment to sexual health. Those who don’t qualify will be signposted to treatment services. And, if a user lives in an area where there is little or no prevention facilities available the call to action changes to encourage men to sign a worldwide petition for change.

This campaign isn’t rocket science but when it comes to education, opportunities for people to hear about the project is priceless, so it’s no surprise the charity decided to partner with a popular app that’s closely associated with its target market. But, to ensure the advocacy group continues to reach out to fresh audiences, it’s also negotiated free deals for new users.

The Blue Ribbon Boys campaign could change lives

Red ribbon Pumas 
Although most brands will use any national calendar day to cash in and boost awareness about themselves, US boutique retailer founder Chase Ceprano has decided to keep the conversation on AIDS running with special edition Puma sneakers.

Using Puma’s Blades of Glory silhouette, he’s partnered with New York is for Lovers to create a custom design – featuring the red ribbon – to raise money for the cause.

Of course, the kicks aren’t my cup of tea, but that doesn’t undermine the bold move Puma has made to make this happen. Putting profits aside, it’s taken the time and money to show everyone that it has a vision for a healthier world.

New York is for Lovers x Puma for World AIDS Day
So, after a weekend of Christmas shopping, isn’t it time you gave something back? From donating money to charity to simply sharing these campaigns to ensure everyone is rethinking HIV, you can get involved.

You don’t even have to wait until Giving Tuesday.

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