FREE COFFEE MADE BY PEOPLE WITH HIV

Short List
TitleFREE COFFEE MADE BY PEOPLE WITH HIV
ClientAIDS CONCERN HONG KONG
Product / ServiceNON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION
CategoryB04. Charities, Public Health, Safety & Awareness Messages
EntrantTBWA\DIGITAL ARTS NETWORK Hong Kong, HONG KONG
Entrant Company TBWA\DIGITAL ARTS NETWORK Hong Kong, HONG KONG
Advertising Agency TBWA\DIGITAL ARTS NETWORK Hong Kong, HONG KONG

The Campaign

Stigma happens when there’s unnecessary fear about people with HIV. To address this, AIDS Concern sent a coffee truck to five busy areas, serving free coffee made by people with HIV and documenting how the public would react. Half of the pedestrians rejected the coffee, causing a storm of conversation online. The controversial experience was covered by numerous local and international press, blogs and social media. As a result, over a third of Hong Kong’s population was reached by the campaign. 97% of respondents say this has made them see people with HIV more positively. AIDS organisations from France and Taiwan have contacted AIDS Concern to adopt the project in their home countries. Most importantly, the HIV+ community in Hong Kong were touched and grateful for the support from the general public. All of this was achieved with only US$30K to spend for everything in the campaign.

The Brief

To tackle HIV-related stigma by creating more conversations. The main cause of people’s prejudice is not so much caused through lack of knowledge or awareness; An independent survey revealed that 87% know you cannot contract HIV through dining together. 82% know you can’t contract the virus through body contact. Because taboo plays part where 44% believe the majority of HIV+ people are promiscuous and is associated with homosexuality and drugs, HIV is a topic that’s forbidden to discuss; it’s an invisible threat. At the heart of the problem is fear. To change this, a complete change of mindset is required.

Results

2.3 million people were reached by this campaign, breaking records in AIDS Concern’s 25-year history. This is equivalent to a third of Hong Kong’s population. With a campaign budget of US$30K inclusive of media and production costs, that’s US$.013 per person reached. The awareness was greatly amplified by the international coverage that was earned, including over a dozen press articles, two radio interviews, 50 blog posts in five different languages and over 300 social media posts. On Facebook alone, the film of the experience achieved over 3,700 likes, comments and shares. From an independently conducted study, 97% of research respondents say they see people with HIV more positively after watching the film that documented the experience. AIDS-related organisations in France and Taiwan have contracted AIDS Concern to adopt the campaign in their own country. This demonstrates the scalability of such a simple yet disruptive idea.

Execution

On 29 November 2014, we sent a coffee truck to five of the city’s busiest areas offering free coffee made by people with HIV. Over three days, promoters invited pedestrians up for a cup. No lecture about HIV. No persuasion to accept the coffee. We recorded the experience and shared it online. Our use of celebrity influencers helped to spread the message online through social media and traditional news outlets.

The Situation

Stigma towards people with HIV is Hong Kong’s invisible disease. In a study conducted by the Chinese University of Hong Kong, 3 in 4 respondents were uncomfortable with having HIV positive neighbours.In fact, 95% agreed with discriminatory statements such as: “The majority of people with HIV are promiscuous” “Employers should refuse employing people with HIV” “All medical staff with HIV should be dismissed” This explains why up to half of people with HIV reported discrimination in the past year. It’s common to hear stories of families rejecting their own with HIV, forcing them to seek help from welfare groups.

The Strategy

The target was the general public of Hong Kong, irrespective of their level of education. It was crucial for AIDS Concern not to be hypocritical and discriminate who carried stigma and who did not. When people in Hong Kong think of AIDS, they think of horror stories that have been used to educate on the consequences of unsafe sex. Many people still recall the ‘pyramid of death’ - a device used in a commercial during the late 80s. Ironically, AIDS advertising has reinforced the stigma towards it. HongKongers also love freebies - independent AIP research confirmed that 95% of Hong Kong people would accept an unconditional free coffee on the street. The way to battle fear is with honesty, empathy and an open discussion. What better way to start a conversation than over coffee?

Credits

Name Company Position
Esther Wong TBWA\Digital Arts Network\Hong Kong Executive Creative Director
Ken Hui TBWA\Digital Arts Network\Hong Kong Creative Team
Mike Wu TBWA\Digital Arts Network\Hong Kong Creative Team
Jacqueline Hung TBWA\Digital Arts Network\Hong Kong Creative Team
Chika Tsang TBWA\Digital Arts Network\Hong Kong Creative Team
Penny Lau TBWA\Digital Arts Network\Hong Kong Creative Team
Ric Dunn TBWA\Digital Arts Network\Hong Kong Creative Team
Harry Yiu TBWA\Digital Arts Network\Hong Kong Video Production
Joanne Lao TBWA\Digital Arts Network\Hong Kong CEO, Greater China
Pauline Wong TBWA\Digital Arts Network\Hong Kong Business Director
Anthony Lam TBWA\Digital Arts Network\Hong Kong Senior Account Manager
Latona Lai TBWA\Digital Arts Network\Hong Kong Senior Account Manager
Gerald Tam TBWA\Digital Arts Network\Hong Kong Account Manager
Jan Cho TBWA\Digital Arts Network\Hong Kong General Manager
Terence Ling TBWA\Digital Arts Network\Hong Kong Head of Planning