Rip & Rolled: How social media beat homophobia and solidified a community


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Craig Lewis (QAHC) discusses the development and impact of the controversial Rip & Roll Condom reinforcement campaign aimed at gay men. The campaign featured on billboards and in social media. This presentation was given at the AFAO/NAPWA Gay Men's HIV Health Promotion Conference in May 2012.

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Rip & Rolled: How social media beat homophobia and solidified a community

  1. 1. Rip & Rolled
  2. 2. How social media beat homophobiaand solidified a community #ripnroll
  3. 3. The campaignCondom reinforcement campaign aimed at gay menBased on simple, clear, sexy images of menAims to reduce the spread of HIV by: condom use as community norm creating real-world role models increasing discussion of safe sex reaching gay men wherever they are
  4. 4. Multiple platforms billboardsbus shelters gay press adspostcards street press
  5. 5. in social mediaPhoto booth at gay events gives photo strip with rip&roll branding photos are uploaded to Facebook page rip&rollers can tag and share pictures platform for gay health discussionTied to @rip_n_roll and @QAHC accounts and hashtag#ripnroll on Twitter
  6. 6. The controversyThe ads hit the streets in late MayAdshel pulls the ads after complaintsA Facebook event is set up by model Michael JamesGains 1000 supporters in four hours, 35,000 supporters on day 2and 95,000 to dateProtest and campaign is covered by gay and mainstream Brisbanenewspapers and televisionAdshel reversed its decision that afternoon, reinstated the adsand gave us two weeks free
  7. 7. Legacy95,000 people in support of the campaignMore engagement online (1000 more “likes” on our rip&rollFacebook page; a new Twitter account; betternetworks and access to volunteers)Increased discussion of condom use, HIV andSTIs through social media (numerous spin-offpages, each with some discussion)Increased understanding of the campaignand its aims, especially among the target audience of gay men(93.7 per cent recognised condom use as the thrust of thecampaign; 92 per cent saying it was very or somewhatimportant)
  8. 8. Community consolidated and activated (which has fedinto our volunteer networks)Better understanding of Healthy Communities(especially important due to our rebranding)State Government, agency and general public support Increased capacity to engage with hard-to-reach sectors of the community Spin-off campaigns such as Embrace Acceptance, Homophobia Not Here and Equality in Health
  9. 9. Lessons learntSpeed of social media response (window of opportunity while wehave everyone’s attention, importance of planning messages)Managing traditional and new media demands (we split ourresources between “legacy” and “new” media, with goodcommunication between; being reactive and proactive)Focus on updates (what wouldthey need to know) and onlythe best of the rest in linksMake partnerships with thosewho admin key events, pages
  10. 10. What now?Recording, analysing and sharing the success (engagement survey,social media analytics, talks like this one!)Nurturing the network (Facebook exclusiverip&roll undies giveaway for creative use of the logo,polls, links to and discussion of gay/MSM content)Capitalising on our increased ability to connect withour community and the wider community (Equality in Healthcampaign, regional Pride events, Sexually Adventurous Menproject)rip&roll phase III lands June/July 2012!
  11. 11. Engage with us@QAHC@rip_n_roll@equal_health