As the rate of STD contraction rose for the first time in ten years, we worked with MTV’s Staying Alive Foundation to get the youth talking about condom use. Unfortunately, STDs disproportionally affect young people, and MTV felt that as the voice of that generation, it was their duty to make a difference. How, though, do you get teenagers to talk about condoms, safe sex, and HIV/AIDS prevention? Easy, you put it in their language.
Our #SafeSext campaign was developed with the understanding that many young relationships start and exist online and in texts. By inserting condoms into their digital lexicon, we wanted to help make the condom less of a “mood killer”, and more a part of “setting the mood.” We created the first-of-its-kind condom emoji keyboard, and launched it with a “SextLife” film driving people to download the keyboard and sext safely.
MTV Sext Life
While dating apps have made it easier to hook up, they haven’t made it less awkward to talk about condoms. How are you supposed to talk about safe sex when there is no condom emoji?
Instead of just telling kids to have the conversation OR ELSE, we helped them do it. We made the MTV SafeSext Keyboard full of cheeky emoji condoms ready to be sent on any kind of smartphone, and then brought them to life. We targeted college kids in their university newspaper, asking them to download the keyboard with posters of the very first emoji-sutra.