Ads for Aids

There are over a million successful marketing campaigns in the world, but the question is, what makes them so successful and why do people donate and feel so drawn to such campaigns? The answer, is grabbing the attention or sympathy of a potential buyer or client. Being able to do such things requires including things that may relate to ones life but also something that makes people think that their lives will be better if they associate themselves with a product or organization.

HIV/ Aids are two of the biggest medical issues in today’s society. HIV which stands for human immunodeficiency virus is a virus that weakens the immune system and makes it harder to fight off diseases and cancers (WebMD). Every day, 700 babies are born with HIV and in the past 30 years, HIV/AIDS has killed more than 36 million people (red). Project (Red) and loveLife are two Aids ad campaigns that raise awareness and solutions to the Aids epidemic.

Project (Red), founded by Bono and Bobby Shriver, is a foundation made to get people involved with the fight against Aids by donating and buying products, to fund the foundation to buy medication and provide better living situations for the victims of Aids and HIV. LoveLife, on the other hand, is a foundation that deals hands on with potential victims in South Africa. LoveLife, directed by David Harrison, is a foundation that gives young adults the opportunity to learn about Aids and also protected sex.

Being a nonprofit organization, loveLife sets up recreational centers called “Y-Centers” that gives young adults the chance to learn new things and be introduced to new opportunities. Both marketing campaigns give the opportunity to prevent and even cure the horrible medical epidemic of HIV/Aids. The best ways market campaigns can bring attention to a huge medical crisis like Aids, is to increase awareness, provide a forum for open conversation and promote activism.

Many people in the world know what HIV/Aids are but they fail to recognize the systems and the emotional toll that it leaves on not only its victims but also the people associated with the person with the disease. Product (Red) raises awareness of the disease by explaining to donators what the disease is but also explains the lives of specific victims of the horrible disease. Connie, a woman living with HIV and also dealing with the losses of her two children due to HIV, decided to get tested for aids. Testing positive, her life was turned upside down.

Having to pay bills, for food and now medication for her disease she didn’t know what to do or even how to manage it all. Thanks to Product (Red), Connie was given the opportunity to try a drug called ARVs, which stands for Antiretroviral, a medication that works to keep HIV from growing and multiplying within the human body (red). Connie states in her video, “Giving hope to the hopeless” (red). Not only does this drug help decrease the risk of HIV/Aids it also lets people who live with HIV live healthy lives and also gives woman, like Connie a chance to have children, without the disease being passed on to her children.

Bringing awareness to such horrific experiences but also to the solutions that can be made helps people sympathize and even want to participate in ending such events. loveLife on the other hand, uses fancy slogans and eye-catching billboards to bring awareness to the epidemic. Without actually talking about Aids, loveLife uses sexualized ads that make young adults think about their actions before pursuing them. For example, one of the billboards that loveLife advertised was “the hands of four women of different races caressed the sculpted back and buttocks of a young black man as though they were appraising an antique newel post.

The caption read, ‘Everyone he’s slept with is sleeping with you” (Epstein 154). Using billboards and ads like these makes a reader think about their sexual decisions and also increase the usage of protected sex. Whether it be raising the awareness of the stories of victims, the side-effects and emotional tolls it takes on victims or even the consequences of unprotected sex, awareness is one of the most important things a marketing campaign can do. A big problem that people have, is the fact that they feel like they cannot talk to anyone about their problems or the struggles that they or someone that they love are facing.

In South Africa this is a huge issue. Since having HIV/Aids is looked upon as having a contagious disease, most people wont talk about or even bring up the fact that they or someone they love is enduring HIV/Aids. Since no one really communicates their pain or the struggles they face with the disease, no one truly understands the pain and suffering that the disease causes, which leads to people not entirely caring about being safe or even if they get the disease.

Epstein states, “It turns out that talking about the pain, both physical and emotional, that the disease creates is far more difficult than getting over the embarrassment of talking about sex” (157). Due to not being able to talk about this subject, sadly the rate of HIV/Aids keeps increasing in South Africa. Providing an open forum for communication helps people become more comfortable with talking about their problems and struggles.

Uganda, being a country in Africa that not only discusses the struggles of the victims of aids, but also the only African country that has decreased its numbers in victims of HIV/Aids is a perfect example of how opening a forum of communication is one of the best ways a country can prevent HIV/Aids. Epstein mentions, “That a powerful role was played by the ordinary, but frank, conversations people had with their family, friends and neighbors- not about sex, but about the frightening, calamitous effects of AIDS itself” (158).

Being able to talk about these experiences with people, make other people known to the horrible effects of the disease and makes civilians more cautious of their actions and also making better decisions when it comes to sex. One of the most important parts of a marketing campaign is the participation of the public. Not only does the participation of the public increase sales and raising of money but it also raises awareness of the cause. Both product (Red) and loveLife contribute great opportunities of activism in their campaigns.

Product (Red) gives the public an opportunity to donate, purchase products/merchandise, and also participate in events which all proceeds go to funding for medication for victims but also to healthier living situations as well. Over 3 million people have donated to Product (Red), 250 million dollars have been made and over 40 million people have been impacted by the organization (red). The help of the public is a huge help to marketing campaigns because it funds the program and also helps raise money for whatever they are raising awareness for.

Although loveLife doesn’t raise money, it helps raise hope and drive for young adults living in South Africa. With building “Y-Centers” it gives young adults the opportunity to learn how to play sports and also learn radio broadcasting and word processing. Epstein states, “Any young person could become a Y-Center member, but in order to fully participate in these activities, he or she had to complete a program of seminars about HIV, family planning and other subjects related to sexuality and growing up” (155).

Participation of the Y-Centers also was laced with becoming aware of the issue as well. Being able to participate in all the activities that the recreational centers offered, gave hope that everyone could make something of themselves and also meeting new people. Giving the chance for the public to become active members in the fight against HIV/Aids is a really big and if not the most important way for a marketing campaign to actually work. LoveLife and Product (Red) both promote activism very well.

The best way for marketing campaigns to bring attention to a huge medical crisis like HIV and Aids is increasing awareness, providing a forum for open communication and promoting activism. Product (Red) and loveLife are both excellent marketing campaigns that do all three of these actions. Due to the success rate of both campaigns, not only is the awareness and effects of Aids being promoted but also the prevention of the disease is increasing and the decline in Aids and the numbers of Hiv/Aids victims are decreasing.

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