#PrEPForHer

#PREPFORHER

RESEARCHING ATTITUDES

The Situation

Improving Health & Emotional Wellbeing

In an effort to raise awareness among African American women about a new HIV prevention drug called PrEP, Octane was contracted by DC Health to determine the best way to reach this audience. Previously, women had been seemingly ignored in the PrEP awareness campaigns. This effort to reach women in the African American community would create real change and awareness for the target audience.

The
Science

In 2015, the CDC determined that about 500,000 African-Americans in the US could potentially benefit from PrEP, but only 7,000 prescriptions were filled.

The
Process

Octane began by holding a series of focus groups with African American women to learn the best strategies for communicating with them. Based on those results, the “Dominate Your Sex Life” campaign launched in October 2016, with great interest from the local community, local and national media, communitybased organizations, and government agencies.

Key Findings

• Lack of awareness about PrEP
• Concerns about side effects
• Distrust of the medical system

Goals

• Create a positive educational campaign
• Make information accessible
• Inform and educate doctors

The Creative

The creative team placed the “Dominate Your Sex Life” campaign in various locations throughout the city. Images of strong and empowered African American women were seen on buses & in train terminals, in social gathering locations, and online. Octane leveraged images of aspirational pop culture icons to impart vital knowledge about PrEP. The health department has run numerous media flights of the “Dominate Your Sex Life” campaign and created opportunity to connect with the target audience at relevant events.
Even with digital becoming the primary focus for many advertisers, Octane realized out-of-home bus kings and terminal posters would have a significant impact if the imagery and messaging were relevant and strong. Octane strategically produced a campaign that would not preach to the audience but instead give them something to be curious about.
Engage with and learn more about the “Dominate Your Sex Life” campaign when you visit Sexualbeing.org. Sexualbeing.org houses resources, engaging content and important facts about sexual health for DC residents.

The Results

In order to increase public awareness about PrEP, change behaviors, and increase usage of the preventative drug, it was critical to look at all aspects of brand development and strategic media planning. By executing this due diligence, Octane was confident that it could raise the bar and motivate the target audience to learn about PrEP and take the next steps toward getting a prescription.
In addition to imagery seen online, on buses, and in train terminals, the campaign was seen at many events including:

FOR SISTERS ONLY

NOVEMBER 2016
Handed out thousands of palm cards and #PrEPForHer branded picture frames

WORLD AIDS DAY

DECEMBER 2016
Supported the Mayor’s 90/90/90/50 plan with #PrEPForHer step and repeats, Twitter campaign, and other social media support

HIV PREP SUMMIT

DECEMBER 2016
Several mentions from other cities and organizations about #PrEPForHer
The result was a sex-positive and eye-catching campaign for out-of-home and online media. The city has seen an increase in women coming to local clinics and community-based organizations to find out more about PrEP as well as an increase in usage of the HIV prevention pill.
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The Blunt Truth

THE BLUNT TRUTH

RESEARCHING ATTITUDES

The Situation

Improving Health & Emotional Wellbeing

Initiative 71 (I-71) went into effect on February 26, 2015. This initiative makes it lawful under District of Columbia law for a person 21 years of age or older to possess, grow, use, give, and receive marijuana according to very specific guidelines. The passage of Initiative 71 led to widespread confusion within the community in regard to the legality of marijuana use, and the resulting effects on one’s health. Officials at the DC Department of Behavioral Health found it critical that the public be informed on the realities of marijuana in the District and hired Octane to create a widespread public information campaign.

The
Science

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), smoking marijuana affects the brain and leads to impaired short-term memory, perception, judgement and motor skills.

The
Process

Octane conducted focus groups to elicit feedback on the attitudes and knowledge of I-71. The primary goal was to understand awareness and knowledge around existing District laws for marijuana use; explore risk perceptions, beliefs, norms and attitudes about marijuana use; and, to establish awareness about resources in the District.

Three focus groups were conducted with youth (10-17 years old), young adults (18-24 years old) and adults (25 and over), from different ethnicities and living in Washington, DC.

Key Findings

• Marijuana use is generally less stigmatized now than it used to be
• Youth participants seem most likely to respond to persons of influence
• Participants believe marijuana is relatively easy to obtain and not that harmful

Goals

• Educate youth and young adults about the harms of marijuana use
• Increase awareness of the District’s marijuana laws including what is legal and illegal
• Connect residents to DBH resources around prevention, treatment and recovery

The Creative

The research findings and recommendations resulted in the creation of “The Blunt Truth campaign featuring characters Mary Jane, Reggie, and their dog, Kush. In the campaign, the characters share information and educate audiences about DC’s marijuana laws along with the health consequences of marijuana use.

Drug Free Youth DC is the prevention focused web property where DBH’s “The Blunt Truth” campaign resides. The website features drug prevention information and laws for youth under 21 and adults.

The Results

In an effort to raise awareness among African American women about a new HIV prevention drug called PrEP, Octane was contracted by DC Health to determine the best way to reach this audience. Previously, women had been seemingly ignored in the PrEP awareness campaigns. This effort to reach women in the African American community would create real change and awareness for the target audience.
The campaign also gained a significant amount of earned media, up to 500,000 impressions over three media platforms.

THE WASHINGTON POST

‘The Blunt Truth’: D.C. wants kids to know about the dangers of pot

DCIST

‘Mary Jane, Reggie, And Kush’ Warn Of Pot Dangers In New D.C. Health Campaign

THE WASHINGTON SUN

District Launches “Blunt Truth” campaign, educates youth about the harmful effects of marijuana usage.
Advertising and organic social media for the campaign were very successful. The campaign ads, and later, the campaign video caught the attention of many DC residents.
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