And the Emmy Goes to…

The Boy and the Bucket: A Fable, The Blue Box, and CityCenterDC – The District of Joy! But no need to cry! Our “Think about PrEP” commercial is still a win in our books – here’s why.

HAHSTA, PrEP, and HIV in the District

Octane is proud to have worked alongside our client, the HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, STDs, and TB Administration (HASHTA), over the past fifteen years to improve DC’s sexual health. Over those years, we have busted down barriers with ground-breaking HIV campaigns, specifically, around PrEP.

PrEP, or pre-exposure prophylaxis, is an HIV prevention method taken daily in pill form that, when used as prescribed, is over 90% effective at preventing HIV transmission. PrEP has lowered national HIV rates and is a key component of Mayor Muriel Bowser’s 90/90/90/50 plan to end the HIV epidemic in the District.

We’ve approached the topic of PrEP from a variety of angles:

  • #ExplorePrEP: speaking to men who have sex with men, whether they identify as gay, bi, or straight
  • #PrEPforher: speaking to Black women from all walks of life in the District
  • #PrEPpledge: the District’s first-ever transgender-facing PrEP campaign speaking to transgender women.
  • Earlier this year, we launched a companion #PrEPpledge campaign written entirely in Spanish to combat the ever-present issue of language barriers in PrEP uptake and HIV prevention.

The Commercial That Could

By far, the campaign that has received the most notice–and scrutiny–has to be our “Think About PrEP” commercial. If you’ve seen it, you’ll immediately understand why it’s received such, ah, attention. If not, well, we’ll let you see for yourself…

Where do we begin? A video so hot it could melt the ice cream shown in its first few frames? Exploring a newfound appreciation for golf clubs and gas pumps? Unpacking your forever-changed relationship with grapefruits? This video set out to shock, to capture, and to start a dialogue. And start a dialogue it did:

Retweet that says, "this tweet is informatively erogenous."


Retweet that says, "this ad killed" followed by laughing crying emojis.


As a PR firm, it is a dream to capture any sort of earned media. With this particular campaign, we managed to start discussions locally, nationally, and even internationally! With every new notification, we stood silently, astounded that our risque public health move resonated with so many individuals.

“You’ve Been Nominated”

Even still, nothing prepared the team at Octane for hearing that we had been nominated for a Capital Emmy in the “Commercial- Single Spot” category. Octane shared a table with HAHSTA’s Michael Kharfen and Stacie Archibald, as well as creative director Art Ehrens at the event hosted on the 23rd of June.

In case you were wondering, Octane does clean up nicely:

Five Octane staff posing at the camera

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