VH1, Global Fund Raise AIDS Awareness

NEW YORK VH1 has created an in-house campaign that focuses on the worldwide effect of AIDS for the Global Fund, a collaboration between governments and businesses dedicated to raising money to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

The campaign is part of VH1 parent Viacom and the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation’s estimated $120 million Know HIV/AIDS awareness initiative.

One spot, which began airing Tuesday, uses only graphics and copy in bright red and yellow to tell viewers that 22 million people are dead of AIDS, the “weapon of mass destruction.” Copy goes on to urge, “We can stop this epidemic.”

A second ad, breaking later this week, shows a man celebrating his 33rd birthday with co-workers in his office. After he blows out the candles, however, he falls face first into his cake. In Zambia, copy reads, the life expectancy is only 33 because of AIDS.

“We wanted to remind the audience how serious the AIDS pandemic is,” said Nigel Cox-Hagan, senior vice president, creative group and consumer marketing at VH1. “We wanted to show that the Global Fund offers a positive hopeful option to that.”

The graphic design approach was used in the first spot because “we wanted to go back to the basics to approach the problem. We wanted something very graphic to set up the global pandemic and introduce it to the audience,” Cox-Hagan said. The birthday scene in the second spot was meant as a “visually simple and strong metaphor to get across the ideas we’re trying to propagate.”

The live-action ad was directed by Melissa Bolton, who also produced the spot. Phil Delbourgo, vp of design at VH1, supervised graphics, along with director of design Amanda Havey. Justin Harder of Transistor Studios in New York created the graphics.

Two additional spots will break in about a month.