Viacom, Kaiser launch third Know HIV/Aids campaign

MUMBAI: Viacom Inc. and the Henry J Kaiser Family Foundation have announced their third consecutive launch of the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning public education initiative Know HIV/AIDS. The annual event includes targeted public service announcements (PSAs), HIV-themed programming, and free print and online information resources.



Building on the momentum of the campaign’s first two years, which delivered HIV awareness, testing, and prevention messages to millions of people across the US, Europe, Africa, and the Caribbean, Know HIV/AIDS began by premiering six new PSAs across Viacom’s television, radio and outdoor properties.

The new spots are a part of Viacom’s $220 million 2005 ad placement commitment. Since the beginning of the campaign, Viacom has committed $600 million of media value to the initiative. And, throughout the same timeframe, Know HIV/AIDS has created a total of 100 PSAs, including the six new spots and five re-tagged ads that premiered today. The campaign will also debut new longer-form television and radio programming throughout 2005.



This year, CBS’ top new drama CSI: NY, UPN’s comedy Eve, CBS’ long-running drama Judging Amy, and Showtime’s hit series Queer As Folk are incorporating HIV/AIDS themes in upcoming episodes. These storylines were developed as a result of briefing sessions on HIV/AIDS conducted by Kaiser for the shows’ creative teams.

MTV, MTV International, BET, VH1 and Infinity Broadcasting also have special HIV/AIDS-related programming planned throughout the year.



Kaiser Family Foundation president and CEO Drew E Altman said, "The size and scope of the Know HIV/AIDS campaign is unprecedented and is beginning to show real results. In a very short period this unusual partnership of a media giant and a not for profit health organization has reached millions of young people with important information about HIV testing and other ways they can protect themselves."

Viacom chairman and CEO Sumner Redstone said, "We couldn’t be more proud that Know HIV/AIDS is entering into its third year. HIV is spreading at an alarming rate, yet it can be prevented… if people have the right information and the ability to act on it. Viacom’s effort is a result of our powerful media assets coupled with literally thousands of employees, who have volunteered their talents, ambitions and hope, in order to educate our audiences and to start turning the tide against this devastating disease."

Working with DDB Issues & Advocacy (a division of DDB Seattle, a full-service communications company), Viacom and Kaiser created the six new PSAs as part of a compelling series that emphasises the power of knowledge in fighting HIV/AIDS. The television and outdoor ads demonstrate how education can change misconceptions, fears or prejudices about HIV/AIDS. The radio ads reinforce this message by broadcasting powerful youth-oriented statistics. All of the PSAs are tagged with the campaign’s website,

"DDB Issues & Advocacy has been thrilled to work with Viacom and Kaiser over the course of this very important effort to eradicate ignorance about HIV/AIDS. The year-three ads reach the general population with the powerful message that knowledge can reverse the increasing trend of this disease," said DDB Seattle managing partner DDB Issues & Advocacy Candy Cox.

In total, 23 Know HIV/AIDS PSAs are running across Viacom’s broadcast networks CBS and UPN; cable networks MTV, BET, VH1, CMT: Country Music Television, TV Land, Nick at Nite, Showtime, Spike TV and Comedy Central; and 183 Infinity Broadcasting radio stations in the top 50 markets.

Both English and Spanish ads are displayed on billboard, bus and bus shelter advertising faces in the nation’s largest markets. The total number of spots that premiered today is 11, which includes the six new spots as well as five television ads that have been re-tagged for the Know HIV/AIDS campaign. These spots were produced in association with Kaiser’s partnership with MTV, Fight For Your Rights: Protect Yourself, and VH1’s media partnership with The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

During the first two years of the initiative, the campaign generated 39 television PSAs in more than 200 markets, which ran nearly 170,000 times; 24 radio PSAs in the top 50 markets, which ran more than 21,000 times; and 26 distinct billboard ads ran in the top 25 markets on more than 11,000 outdoor faces. In addition, 40 broadcast shows and cable programs incorporated HIV/AIDS into their storylines and episodes, which were seen by millions of viewers, and through syndication will be seen by millions more. The campaign has also prompted more than 21 million unique hits to the Know HIV/AIDS website and more than 750,000 calls to the campaign’s combined hotlines.

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