How to get people talking about condoms, in 4 easy steps!

The BBC World Trust is wrapping up a large public health campaign in India in an effort to curb HIV infections. The year long multimedia campaign began in December 2007 and has been running in 4 states. Its objective is to “make condoms more socially acceptable and improve the image of the condom user as a smart and responsible person.”

The campaign included four stages:

Stage 1- A Contest

A riddle was  distributed (via radio, tv, billboards and buses, etc) and people were encouraged to call in with their answer. Then one of the people with the correct answer would win a free cell phone with paid air time!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_PDRbdQQlU]

Nearly 400,000 calls were made by people attempting to answer the riddle, and 25 winners were randomly selected and won a camera phone with paid talk time. According to the BBC World Trust’s impact evaluation of the phase, the campaign reached 52 million men in just 3 weeks.

Stage 2- Changing sport

The second phase of this campaign came in the form of tv, radio and print ads, which integrated local culture with the message. The ads depict a kabaddi match, a team sport where chanting the word “kabaddi” during play is part of the game. In the ad, our hero wins the match by chanting “condom” instead of “kabaddi.” The ad also places more emphasis on an animated parrot, who appears throughout the campaign.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6NSwQGzZps]

Stage 3- Ringtone

The objective of this phase was to show social support for condoms, and it used a “condom a cappella” ringtone to do it! The ringtone can be downloaded for free on the CondomCondom.org website or through an SMS shortcode in India, and it was promoted through several platforms incuding websties, online games, mobile advertising, as well as tv and radio ads. So far more than 675,000 download requests have been processed, and the website has received over 3.5 million hits. The tagline “the one who understands is a winner” is further reinforced in this phase.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hv0BDNryX84]

Stage 4- What’s in a name?

This final phase comes in the form of a tv ad (on both broadcast television and in cinemas), and introduces a puppy named…what else? Condom.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5OUs8G-yJdg]

The campaign ends this month, but already its producers say it has reached over 100 million men and women in India. A full impact evaluation report will be available in mid-2009.

Participatory Sensing…or cool things that your phone could do

As our phones get more and more sophisticated, there become more and more possibilities of what they could do.

I came across this video the other day – its a very interesting example of ways to use mobiles and crowd sourcing. Its a little sappy (or maybe just poorly acted) but it is very interesting.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-ItfpA3XiY]

Tibet, video and Human Rights

I am a big fan of the organization, Witness, and a recent project of theirs is called the HUB. Its kind of like YouTube for human rights.  It will be interesting to see how the project goes – it has its pros and cons, but here is a good example of its use.
 
Note that the video that is imbedded on this page is actually sitting on YouTube’s servers, but the group is using Witness’s HUB because it has the functionality to lead viewers to do something to help. This is a function that YouTube has lacked for a long time. With the creation of their Nonprofit Channel, they are addressing it, but it is yet to be seen how effective it will be.
 
So, please visit this page, watch the video, then take one of the actions. This is a very important situation – these protests are the most violent in almost 20 years. The Chinese gov’t say only 16 people have died, but its more likely to be upwards of 80.
 
International concern is growing as a result of house-to-house raids, imposed curfews, numerous arrests, and increased media repression. 
 
The Chinese government has reportedly placed restrictions on international media coverage in Tibet, blocking or filtering websites like Yahoo! and YouTube and censoring the local feeds of news agencies including the BBC and CNN. However, eyewitness accounts, photos, and videos (mostly from cellphones) are making their way out — and onto the Hub.   
 
 
Three things you can do now:
1) Forward this!- help keep the spotlight on Tibet;
2) Watch the latest videos on Tibet and take action on the HUB’s Tibet action center
3) Upload or embed – if you have or see Tibet-related video, photos or audio. You can also email the HUB.
 
 
Also, let me know what you think about the HUB.
Did you take one of the actions?
Why/why not? 

 

Monks and Mobile Phones

Monk with Cig and Cell

Not an image that comes easily to mind, but its one that is a big concern for police and government officials in Burma. As thousands of monks demonstrate in pro-democracy rallies in Myanmar, Burmese officials are cutting off a main channel of communications- cell phones. According to Agence France-Presse, the military government has cut off cell phone service to anyone it deems sympathetic to the pro-democracy movement. This includes both activists and some journalists. AFP has requested their reporters cell service be turned back on.

The military government warned last Sunday that it would take “effective action” against those supporting the demonstrations. Since then about 50 cell phone services and at least one land line has been cut off. Look for cell phone video of protests online on Burma Digest’s website.

In case you need it, here is report from the BBC to catch you up on the situation in Burma.
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2_EKx2KZ9A]