Aides Print Charlie by Goodby Silverstein & Partners San Francisco

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Industry Public awareness, HIV/AIDS
Media Print, Magazine & Newspaper
Market United States
Agency Goodby Silverstein & Partners San Francisco
Executive Creative Director Erik Vervroegen
Art Director Adrien Bindi
Copywriter Nathaniel Lawlor
Designer Mandi Lin
Released June 2010


Clio Awards 2011
Print Public Service Silver
Print Technique Bronze

Credits & Description

Advertiser: AIDES
Product/Service: AIDS AWARENESS
Date of First Appearance: Feb 17 2011
Entrant Company: GOODBY SILVERSTEIN & PARTNERS, San Francisco, USA
Executive Creative Director: Erik Vervroegen (Goodby, Silverstein & Partners)
Art Director: Adrien Bindi (Goodby, Silverstein & Partners)
Copywriter: Nathaniel Lawlor (Goodby, Silverstein & Partners)
Illustrator: Andy Ward (Rep: Gerald & Cullen Rapp Artist Representatives)
Designer: Mandi Lin (Goodby, Silverstein & Partners)
Print Producer/Art Buyer: Britt Gardner (Goodby, Silverstein & Partners)
Account Director: Francois Grouiller (Goodby, Silverstein & Partners)
Operations Manager: Renee Fisher (Goodby, Silverstein & Partners)
Operations Manager: Mignonne Lysiak (Goodby, Silverstein & Partners)
Digital Artist: Joel Scott Wheeler (Goodby, Silverstein & Partners)
French Translator: Veronique Sels
Media placement: Newspaper Spread - Bay Area Reporter - February 17, 2011

Describe the brief from the client
In the fight against AIDS, nothing is more important than wearing condoms. Most people know that. But still, young people aren’t always wearing condoms. We tried to find out why and discovered that it’s because the conversation is too uncomfortable to have with their partner. We decided to create comics and cartoons that lighten the mood around the topic, perhaps making it a little easier to discuss. We came up with dozens of comics and, from then on, our objective was to get busy, tired and overworked comic-book artists to draw comics for us, and to do it for free.

Describe the challenges and key objectives
This new effort started with a simple insight: in society, using condoms is less taboo than it used to be; but in moments of sexual intimacy, talking about protection is still an embarrassing conversation to have. Our challenge was to find clever ways to de-dramatise the somewhat embarrassing, if not plain awkward, moment when condoms need to be discussed. And in the process, our objective was to turn condoms into a positive advantage to get to that simple thing everyone wants: a dose of pleasure.

Describe how you arrived at the final design
We thought about all the colorful euphemisms for dirty words, and it turns out a lot of them are animals! So we decided to shroud the discussion of sex with these innocent euphemisms, and it naturally translated into a children’s story. The Little Golden Book series we all remember from childhood was our inspiration. With the help of an amazing cartoonist, we achieved a modern look reminiscent of that classic style. And we purposefully kept the cartoon clean. It’s more fun that way. Adults will understand the subtext, while kids can safely read it and be none the wiser.

Give some indication of how successful the outcome was in the market
Because editorial teams found it original and fun, it was mentioned in all major French media (Elle, Les Inrocks, etc.). Importantly, lots of free space was donated to feature the work, including some space in French alternative-lifestyle magazines whose audiences are key targets for AIDES. Readers were delighted, and the biggest sign of success came from seeing the images scanned to become an online sensation, receiving plenty of positive comments on popular websites - generalist and sex-centric. Meanwhile, in combined effect with the rest of the campaign, traffic and comments on the AIDES website, as well as donations, significantly increased.