Be a good sport

You’re probably aware that I’m quite sceptical when it comes to negatively framed messages – especially related to behaviour that is regular (or reasonably regular for some people).

As research suggests, negatively framed messages, or those using fear appeals work quite well when it comes to quick, simple solutions – or the target group is highly involved. So, for example, flu jabs are a good example for where fear appeals work well (quick, easy solution… sharp scratch, and done). For more complex messages, or when the target audience is not highly involved in the issue, then positive framing seems more effective.
Therefore, I quite liked the safe sex campaign by THT (the UK’s largest sexual health charity), that quite nicely in my view took a tongue in cheek approach… deviating from the old and tired (and previously used by them themselves) negatively framed messages, trying to “scare” people into changing behaviour. Safe sex, at least in times where AIDS is more a chronic condition, is rarely a high involvement issue for many people. Thus, the more positive approach seems the right choice.

Of course, the video is also pretty humorous, and extends the sporting spirit of the Olympics in London. So overall, a pretty nice step in the right directing I think. I hope you agree!

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