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Campaign of Distinction: Sexual Health

Jun 9, 2007  •  Post A Comment

Because it programs to high school and college students, MTV has aired public service announcements on sexual health for a number of years.

The network tweaked its campaign last year, adding spots designed to empower young women.

“We usually do a layered campaign, and because ‘Sexual Health’ is a range of topics, we choose different entry points,” said Amy Campbell, VP of on-air promotions at MTV.

Last year’s campaigns included several focal points.

For instance, “The Fight for Her Rights” campaign was inspired by a young woman, Marvelyn Brown, who contracted HIV at 19 from her boyfriend, who refused to wear a condom. She has since become an advocate of safe sex and testing. The purpose of the campaign was to empower young women to insist on condom use during sex.

“She is your average girl and she told her story of meeting this great guy and how she felt special that he wanted to have sex with her without a condom. So to hear that, we thought, was a powerful message for our viewers, [not to be fooled by that logic], particularly girls who needed to be reminded that it is cool to be empowered,” Ms. Campbell said.

The “Before and After” campaign included spots with both men and women showing they handle the frustrations of daily life better if they’ve faced up to the results of an STD test rather than ignoring it. The purpose was to encourage young people to get tested so they can attain peace of mind by knowing the results, said Brent Stoller, director of on-air promos at MTV.

The “Be an Authority” campaign encouraged young people to learn more about sexual health for themselves and for their loved ones, even if that means talking to parents about their sex lives.

The PSAs are created in concert with the Kaiser Family Foundation each year as a part of a 10-year partnership between the channel and the foundation. To date, the partnership has generated more than 100 million viewers of its documentaries and 1.2 million calls to the toll-free hotline and has distributed more than 450,000 informational guides, MTV said.

The PSAs play a key role in increasing hotline calls and visits to think.mtv.com Web sites, MTV said.

Kevin Mackall
Title: Senior VP, on-air promos, MTV
How long in position: 7 years
Year of birth: 1966
Place of birth: Pittsburgh, Pa.
Who knew? Mr. Mackall is a gourmet cook in his leisure time.
Amy Campbell
Title: VP, on-air promos, MTV
How long in position: 4 years
Year of birth: 1970
Place of birth: Lancaster, Pa.
Who knew? Ms. Campbell said she makes an awesome triple-layer red velvet cake from scratch.
Brent Stoller
Title: Director, on-air promos, MTV
How long in position: 3 years
Year of birth: 1975
Place of birth: St. Louis
Who knew? Mr. Stoller fills his digital video recorder with episodes of “This Old House” and watches them to unwind.

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