Slogan Doctor: Condom, Essential Wear

The Department of Health has gone trendy in its attempt to curb the spread of STDs. But is it a risky approach?

by John Morrish
Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

What do you do if you want to promote sexual health to an audience when it's never going to happen to them? Research has shown that young people are so unconcerned about venereal disease that they're more likely to take a stick of chewing gum on a hot date than a condom. Well, try pretending you're selling them fashion.

That's the newest message conveyed by 'Condom: Essential Wear', the slogan devised for the Department of Health by Delaney Lund Knox Warren & Partners of London. It's as terse and 'directional' as any rag-trade tagline, and the poster and print campaigns maintain the theme by looking like ads for T-shirts and underpants, albeit T-shirts and pants bearing such slogans as 'I've got chlamydia' and 'I'll give you one'.

On TV, the campaign takes a different tack. We see items of clothing emblazoned with the names of popular STDs but, by and large, they're coming off. The slogan appears at the end, but it's irrelevant to the ad, which is all about using sex to sell the dangers of sex - a bold strategy when your audience needs no encouragement.

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