|Social Marketing - Expanding access to essential products and services to prevent HIV/AIDS and to limit the impact of the epidemic (UNAIDS, 2000, 12 p.)|
Social marketing can help create an enabling and supportive environment for behavioural change.
Prevention of HIV is a sensitive issue requiring the support of all sectors of society, Social marketing has been extremely successful in creating environments in which behaviours can change. One way of influencing society has been in recruiting prominent individuals and groups to deliver and endorse safer sex messages, This approach has been successful with peer educators, sports and music figures, religious leaders and politicians.
Nobel Prize winner Archbishop Tutu has delivered an impassioned plea for South Africans to face the facts about HIV and AIDS in "The Rubber Revolution", a documentary produced by PSI's South African partner, the Society for Family Health (SFH). In the documentry produced in 1996 Tutu, along with Catholic and Muslim leaders and various national sports figures, discussed the importance of open discussions about sexuality and HIV/AIDS. The documentary, especially Tutu's participation, was so well received that at the end of 1996 SFH again met with Tutu to produce television and radio public service announcements (PSA). Filmed in his office in the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Tutu said:
Fellow South Africans, I am Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Our great nation faces a terrible challenge with HIV and AIDS spreading so fast. We in the church believe that sex should only take place within marriage. However, for those of you who do practise sex outside of marriage, I encourage you to take the right precautions and practise safer sex. Please use condoms.
Archbishop Tutu's PSA along with two other messages from prominent South Africans first aired on World AIDS Day 1996. Prior to his involvement, the South African Broadcasting Corporation had not allowed the word "condom" to be used on prime time television. Archbishop Tutu's PSA helped SFH to open the airwaves and dramatically influence the media policy and the general environment and culture in which sexuality is discussed and, indeed, practised.
In an interview just after the premiere of the PSA, Tutu was asked about how he was able to reconcile condom use and safer sex with his religious beliefs and leadership. He said that the rapid spread of HIV and AIDS in South Africa made it impossible for anyone truly committed to the new South Africa NOT to take action. He said:
While we in the church believe in sex only within marriage, we have to face reality and give our young people reasonable alternatives. We simply cannot ignore what is happening.
The Society for Family Health in Nigeria launched its own high profile campaign with world-class football star, Sunday Oliseh, who is a prominent role model in Nigeria. SFH produced print, radio and television messages with Oliseh promoting condom use, safer sex and the social marketing brand, Cold Circle. The campaign was launched simultaneously with the 1998 World Cup Soccer tournament, in which Oliseh led the
Data on the reach of the Sunday Oliseh campaign confirmed that a very high percentage of survey respondents saw the advert during the World Cup and displayed very high recall of the key messages.