Memes campaign makes safe-sex education easy to talk about

The Colorado Initiative to Reduce Unintended Pregnancy and Colorado Department of Health and Environment launched an effort to provide 18- to 29-year-olds with tools and information to make safe-sex education easy to understand and talk about.

Client: The Colorado Initiative to Reduce Unintended Pregnancy (Denver, Colorado)
Agency
: Bluetone Marketing & Public Relations (Orange County, California) and Vermilion (Boulder, Colorado)
Campaign
: Just Talk About It memes campaign
Duration
: April-June 2014
Budget
: About $7,000

The privately funded Colorado Initiative to Reduce Unintended Pregnancy and its public partner, Colorado Department of Health and Environment, launched the website BeforePlay.org in February 2012 to provide 18- to 29-year-olds with tools and information to make safe-sex education easy to understand and talk about.

"We’ve run a number of campaigns to engage people in our broader Beforeplay.org initiative," explains Greta Klingler, family planning supervisor, Colorado Department of Health and Environment and spokesperson for BeforePlay.org. "We know people really respond to fun, easily sharable content. There wasn’t a natural fit with a holiday or an event this spring, so for our latest campaign, we used a light tone and played off the weather getting better and people getting outside more."

Vermilion, which is Beforeplay.org’s AOR for creative and advertising, and Bluetone Marketing & PR, AOR for PR, helped devise and execute the memes campaign.

Strategy
The team created seven memes focused on the concept of Spring Fling and spread them through media and blogger relations and social media posts. 

"We created fun and edgy memes that journalists, bloggers, and our target audience would want to share," says Jonathan Abramson, president and founder of Bluetone.

"Memes are a fun tool to grab people’s attention and increase conversation," adds Lauren Reynoso, account manager at Vermilion.

Tactics
Bluetone pitched the memes to local and regional alternative weeklies, outlets focused on young adults, college papers, as well as bloggers covering lifestyle, sexual health, and LGBT topics.

Klingler gave interviews and discussed Beforeplay.org’s mission and resources.

The memes were shared weekly on Beforeplay.org and its Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest pages.

Blog posts on the website provided additional context for the memes and why they were circulating.
  

Results
The campaign helped drive 154,417 total website visits between April and June, up from 117,994 total visits during the same months in 2013. 

The Facebook page garnered 3,690 likes between April and June, up 175% compared to likes gained during the same months last year. The overall reach of Facebook-related memes was 419,022.

Seven earned placements ran in outlets such as 303 Magazine, Westword blog, Men’s Health Network, and Nerve.com.

Future
The Beforeplay.org initiative is expected to run through 2015. A music gift card giveaway involving posting selfies with the hashtag #safeissexy is running through September 17.

Beforeplay.org information will be disseminated at universities, community colleges, local events, and bars throughout the fall.

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