RAVE (Revolt Against Virus Exchange): The Gift

HIV is the ultimate gift. It is the most erotic thing I can think of.
We have been changing how HIV is perceived to everyone but ourselves.
Change the mentality.

This campaign targets homosexual males ages 18-30. It stems from the underlying subculture of bug chasers, or men who actively seek out HIV and want to be infected.

Advertising Agency: LMN Design, USA
Art Director: Laurie Nickerson

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12 comments

darth_darkcape's picture
darth_darkcape
100 pencils

this line is uncomfortable.... still these lines could be way more provocative given the topic and the strategy.

yalaurie's picture
yalaurie
121 pencils

Uncomfortable is good. It's supposed to make you think and be uneasy about it. Point taken about being provocative though. As I mentioned in another comment, these are actual quotes by guys who are/were bug chasers. It was a choice I made to keep the original language and not tweak it to make it more "headline."
Thanks for the feedback.

XL's picture
XL
214 pencils

Laurie, to me, you appear to me a bit too defensive of the criticism of your work. I know that you want to explain the choices you made, but that's just not always an option. Are you going to stand outside by these ads and explain it all to everyone? Or offer reasons why they are seeing what they are seeing? Of course not. The thing about putting ads on a forum like this (and let me tell you, this one seems even more negative than many others for some reason), is that you have to just let the work speak for itself. The more you comment on it, the more it looks like you don't have faith in the work living on it's own.

Not everyone is going to like your work. And you just can't have an answer for everyone who doesn't. Obviously, I'm not sure if you are new to the business or not, but when you defend you work against someone's critique like you have, it makes you look young and naive. It's decent work, but it could be better (as could every piece of work ever made). I think there seems to be a theme from the comments that a lot of people aren't getting it or don't think it's strong enough. Your best bet is to take that criticism for what it's worth. If you agree with it, fix the work. If you don't agree with it, ignore the comment. But answering every critic isn't going to stop people from having an opinion about it.

yalaurie's picture
yalaurie
121 pencils

Actually, I am young and naive about the world of advertising but I am learning and I am growing which is really cool. I am not defending the my work. I am actually listening to what you have to say and taking it in. I am just giving my point of view as to where I am coming from. I am not looking for everyone to "like it." I am just adding to the discussion. If I am not allowed to add to discussion, okay, I will stop. I am new to the site as well so I don't know proper protocol. At the end of the day, this campaign was really cool to work on and I am interested how it is viewed by others. By no means am I trying to force people to see it from my view, or change their minds. I value everyone's opinions and just excited that people are talking about it in general, negative or positive. I really do appreciate the feedback.

XL's picture
XL
214 pencils

I'm sorry if I was misinterpreted. I'm by no means saying that you have to stay out of the conversation. That's certainly not for me to say. I guess I was just trying to help you not get caught up too deeply in what people say about it. That can be a slippery slope that only leads to disappointment. I can see that you appreciate the feedback and that is great. It just looked to me like you were also trying to defend the choices you made at the same time as appreciating the feedback is all.

I'm not here to dampen your spirits at all, so I hope that's not how you've taken it. Really, I was just hoping to share some advice from experience that I wish someone had told me early on in the business. Accepting criticism is one thing. Continually defending your work is something entirely different. That's all. Sorry if I offended you in any way.

yalaurie's picture
yalaurie
121 pencils

Oh you didn't offend me at all. Really, I am just excited to be a part of this site and have people talk about my work. It's a great feeling. It's great to be given feedback and I totally understand how this can be a slippery slope. I will make sure from here on out that I avoid coming off as defensive. That's not what I am meaning to do at all. Trust me, any advice is great. I am just starting out and I am trying to find my footing and place in the industry.
Thanks!

missed my turn's picture
missed my turn
426 pencils

I can see where your head is at with wanting to use the actual quotes of these bug chasers, but I would have to agree with XL in that nobody will know that the quotes are authentic. Even if you were to come out and say, 'these are actual quotes,' people still may not believe it. I think the subject matter is inherently twisted and intriguing. Use that as ammo to smash some headlines. These will be much more creative that way. A good line could still leave people feeling uncomfortable and curious, and it will open up more room for your own personal touch on the subject. You clearly have done the research and have opinions and insights, use that to create lines that are yours, not quotes.

I never knew that such a culture existed, it kind of blows my mind. Either way, good luck with this.

witness505's picture
witness505
137 pencils

Don't like it PERIOD.
XL's comments is as good and nice as it gets. As for me, I would want a explaination of a winning campaign which I don't get. I don't necessarily need to know how a bad one came about. You are trying too hard and it's getting annoying... what do u want? a hug?

yalaurie's picture
yalaurie
121 pencils

Are you giving away AIDS with your hug?
(Sorry, couldn't resist.)

darth_darkcape's picture
darth_darkcape
100 pencils

as I said this one is the most uncomfortable of all of them.... and yes uncomfortable is good.... but they could be more shocking is what I'm saying.

Guest's picture
Guest

A better opening line might be:

When your thoughts betray you the consequences can be grave

The "We are still dying" in the background is great but maybe have the quotes on a tombstone instead?

Also:

"it's the most erotic thing I can think of?" HUH??????? Maybe shining light on a REAL consequence of having HIV would be more compelling.

I still don't get what RAVE is exactly. Anyhow, interesting stuff....good luck.

Guest's picture
Guest

I don't like it at all. People should understand that having the HIV is not fun...I mean come on, you die from this.

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