DDB ‘Reintroducing’ AIDS Crisis

Fearing that the public has become complacent about AIDS, the Lifelong AIDS Alliance has unveiled a campaign meant to “reintroduce” the disease.

Created by DDB Seattle’s issues and advocacy division, this is the first major branding effort for the alliance. The Seattle-based organization was formed in February following the merger of the Northwest AIDS Foundation, which was known for its involvement in public policy, and the Chicken Soup Brigade, which delivered meals, did household chores and ran errands for people with HIV and AIDS.

“There has been 20 years of AIDS, and the general population is tired of hearing about it,” said Sue Threshie, client director of marketing and development. She said the organization wants its ads “to stimulate public awareness that AIDS is not over, there is no cure, and that people are living longer with AIDS and require extended services.”

The effort includes print, transit and outdoor ads. Creative was handled pro-bono, with the client paying for production and small-scale placement, as well as time spent on positioning, naming and logo creation.

Four print ads tagged “Lifelong battle. Lifelong support. Lifelong commitment. Lifelong friend” were inspired by the AIDS Memorial Quilt and commemorative tiles made by Northwest AIDS Foundation clients and volunteers, said DDB creative director Fred Hammerquist. “We’re trying to keep this very authentic so people will feel connected to this new organization,” he said.

One ad features the line “Even the most comprehensive insurance policy doesn’t cover soup delivered to your door by a gorgeous man in a mini-skirt and heels.” It shows a photo of man in drag delivering food, next to pictures and newspaper clippings fastened to quilt squares. Another ad includes the line “We’ve all got to die sometime. Just not yet.”

The campaign is aimed at the general population and at those who have previously volunteered for the Northwest AIDS Foundation and Chicken Soup Brigade.

Print ads will run through next June in such publications as Seattle Weekly, Seattle Gay Standard and Metropolitan Living. Transit and outdoor ads launch next month. They include the lines “Free condoms promote sex like free life jackets promote shipwrecks” and “AIDS is still not curable. Complacency is.”