action for aids

PR Stunt

The problem

Singapore's HIV cases were on the rise. Up 230% from the previous year. However, the data was clear that the rise wasn't in homosexual men, it was in women. Housewives in particular, who were infected by their own husbands who frequented local massage parlours and brothels. These men would engage in sex with these sex workers without using a condom. 

THE SeT-up

Prostitution is legal in Singapore. But it is hard to convince these men to use condoms to protect themselves from infectious diseases. 


Needing to engage them in a language they could understand, we developed a serious of new massage parlour ads and ran them in the classified section of the local papers. This too is legal in Singapore.

We also distributed photocopies of A4 posters inside the red light districts and used graffiti with a phone number that we scripted for dialect-speaking Chinese groups.

The Number

A number was set up for appointments. The character was typical of a phone sex operator speaking in Chinese.

The spiel went a bit  like this:


"Hello, I am Nikki, if you would like to have sex with me using a condom PRESS 1. If you want to have sex without a condom PRESS 2. "


If the caller PRESSED 1, Nikki would continue: "Smart boy, always use a condom because even though I look amazing, I actually have the HIV virus that leads to AIDS...


If the caller PRESSED 2, Nikki would say: "Oh no, big mistake pressing 2 because I am HIV positive! That means
I have HIV, the virus that leads to AIDS...

The Reveal

Three weeks later, we revealed that this ruse was actually an anti-AIDS campaign. It was followed up with road shows at factories that put on an educational comedy play and gave out free condoms to the workers.

The number received over 1.1 million calls. The campaign made the cover of the SUNDAY TIMES and garnered wide-spread media coverage. A Gold Effie followed. But more importantly, the message was out.





Gold (Campaign)

Creative Circle Awards