07 September 2009
AIDS Is A Mass Murderer -- The Hitler Video...
This is one of those moments when you think to yourself, "why hasn't someone thought of this before?" The use of an Adolf Hitler lookalike having sex as a means of promoting the idea that AIDS is a mass murderer. Perhaps now a whole raft of regional based ads could be made, such as a Russian AIDS ad with a Stalin lookalike doing the deed (which has been done) or a Pol Pot lookalike in Cambodia, the possibilities are numerous.
AIDS, despite what some might have you believe, is an indiscriminate killer in the end; it does not matter whether you are male or female, gay or straight, young or old. The reality, and it is a sad reality, is that we have become much more complacent on the AIDS front. AIDS has morphed from being a much more immediate killer to a chronic illness that can be managed with the right medications. This has made us complacent and this is dangerous. Therefore, a truly confronting ad campaign might just be the way to go to reinvigorate the drive to create a viable vaccine and to find a cure.
The ad was produced by the German Das Comitee advertising agency. The primary focus according to the creative director, Dirk Silz, was to be confronting, to shake people up and get them thinking about reversing the trend in the increasing numbers of people engaging in unprotected sex. You can find the ad here at www.aids-is-a-mass-murderer.com.
AIDS has already caused the death of some 30 million people to date, and a further 6000 are dying everyday. The simple reality is that if we do not address the issue of HIV/AIDS then it will one day be the biggest killer of humans in all of our history. It will have killed more people than all of the wars we have endured as a race combined. This is a truly scary thought.
Maybe, just maybe, an ad like this one is just what the doctor ordered.
However, it is worth noting that not everyone is happy with the ad campaign. There are some who are arguing that the campaign will have the opposite effect and will actually serve to further stigmatize those with HIV / AIDS. The argument is it seems that the ad suggests that people with HIV / AIDS are mass murderers. To be honest I do not see the ad this way. In my mind the ad is indeed confronting, but it is saying the virus is a mass killer that lives among us and that we must be vigilant to ensure that we do not fall victim to it.
In any event, an ad such as this one is likely to generate strongly held opinions on both sides of the equation, yet in some way I believe if it generates debate and gets people talking about the pros and cons, not only of the ad but of the virus, then it has achieved the greater part of its objective.
Don't forget World AIDS Day on 1 December.
You can check it out here or just watch it below.