Funds and hope raised for HIV/AIDS prevention

The nonprofit Lifebeat, Music Fights HIV/AIDS works in conjunction with music industry partners to educate young Americans about HIV/AIDS prevention and to support the HIV/AIDS community.

Client: Lifebeat, Music Fights HIV/AIDS (New York)
Agency: PKPR (New York)
Campaign: Arches of Hope
Duration: January 17-24, 2013
Budget: $6,000

The nonprofit Lifebeat, Music Fights HIV/AIDS works in conjunction with music industry partners to educate young Americans about HIV/AIDS prevention and to support the HIV/AIDS community.

Lifebeat typically launches a public awareness campaign on World AIDS Day (December 1 every year). Given fallout from Hurricane Sandy was still dominating news coverage in early December 2012, the campaign, which highlighted public messages of hope for an AIDS-free generation, was pushed back to January 17, just ahead of President Obama's January 21 inauguration speech.

“The campaign [helped] keep the promise of an AIDS-free generation in the spotlight as a major issue,” says PKPR account director Jason Gordon.

Strategy
The Out NYC, a gay-oriented, straight friendly lifestyle resort in Manhattan, displayed “Arches of Hope,” an installation of three 10-foot arches made of 223 blocks, January 17 to March 8. 

The public was encouraged to submit messages of hope for an AIDS-free generation using Twitter hashtag #ArchesofHope or directly on ArchesofHope.com. The messages were displayed on a ticker tape embedded in the exhibit and on two Times Square jumbo screens January 17 to 24.

“The three arches represented the three decades of HIV/AIDs,” explains Lifebeat's lead consultant Leslie Doyle. “People could also purchase blocks that formed the arches on the website. The funds raised were split between Lifebeat and MTV Staying Alive Foundation.”

Sandra “Pepa” Denton of Salt-N-Pepa and Lifebeat president Gary Dell'Abate (who is also producer of The Howard Stern Show) served as spokespeople and conducted media interviews. 

Tactics
Outreach to local and national media outlets covering culture, the arts, LGBT issues, pop culture, and technology began in December.

Journalists, bloggers, music industry leaders, and various social media influencers, including Renee Graziano of VH1's “Mob Wives,” were invited to a January 17 launch event at The Out NYC.

Lifebeat, MTV Staying Alive Foundation, and MTV promoted the campaign on their respective social media channels.

Results
The hashtag generated more than 17 million Twitter impressions.

More than 30 earned placements ran in outlets such as Mashable, Huffington Post, The Advocate, and The Village Voice.

Gordon says President Obama called for Congress and Americans to "realize the promise of an AIDS-free generation” in his February 21 State of the Union Address.

The campaign raised $52,000, which was short of the goal. “We didn't meet our fundraising goals, but we exceeded our awareness-raising goals,” Doyle says.

Future
Promotional activities will be conducted around the BET Awards in June, MTV's Video Music Awards in August, and the September launch of a limited edition Lifebeat-branded Burton snowboard.

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