Most partners’ pasts are vague then one may think because when most people meet, they don’t take time to discuss their pasts and this may have some negative effects in the future. In the same vein, many Gays in Canada are not aware of their partners’ history, most of them think that their sexual interactions with these partners are safe. I wonder how people will just make such assumption in this modern world.
This turn of events within the last couple of years made The One Life Campaign to publish some strong images created by the Bleublancrouge Advertising Agency in Canada, in 2009. As a part of their series of photos, there was a particular one named, “One Life: Shower,” its main purpose was to pursue the members of the gay communities in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver in making regular HIV tests a part of their routine in life. That was what Bristol-Myers Squibb mentioned in the case studies created by Bleublancrouge. This particular image in a nutshell, help to increase the awareness among the targeted viewers who were able to relate well with the image.
“We delivered a campaign based on a strong image,” Bristol-Myers explained within the article. The image (see fig. 1), when you broaden it, you can clearly see a stage showing two men within a shower of a locker room holding themselves in a sexual way. The victim and the carrier are alone, holding one another innocently, yet the carrier is wrapping his arms around the victim, with eight additional arms of different colors, sizes and positions. The additional arms represent the past partners, who are still within the carrier. This image used a logical approach to capture the attention of viewers and this allows the viewer to read the next part of the message.
“Each time you sleep with someone, you also sleep with their past,” that title initiates the viewers’ logic ways of thinking (See Fig. 1.). Who was the last partner and who will be the next victim? With each viewer, each story is unique and not knowing whether the viewer will become the victim or the carrier, as a result, the image becomes personal depending on how you want to interpret it.
But the added strength of making this image personal had also created misinterpretation from various viewers. Critiques viewed the image differently and with the diversities in culture, the viewer’s particular “life,” had room for different interpretations. These critiques questioned whether this image imposed influence that the white Caucasians were victims from different ethnicities, hence the multitude of different hands and if that was the case, the impact of the image could have, in a way had been minimized. However, don’t get me wrong that this image was created to be misinterpreted.
Bleublancrouge emphasized that all of them were affected, whether it be of different social-economic statutes, different races, genders differences and self-sexual identification. Additionally, the series released by Bleublancrouge include different versions of the image which included different stages, victims from different races (see fig. 2.), different genders (see fig. 3.), but they all have the same main tagline, “One life, many pasts.” Thus, using other credits views to broaden the interpretation for the Shower image, it is evident that Bleublancrouge audience are targeted per culture, as the Shower image was released within the Canadian providences of Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver.
The imagination being unpredictable leaves the audiences past history pursue their next move and the last text within the image being, “areyouatrisk.ca,” does that. With Bleublancrouge skillfully using ethos appealing logos, the context shifts which was once seen as different becomes as norm. The website itself hosted information regarding myths, tips and involvement within the community, however the top level domain being “.ca” indicates that the website is not a government based website. The image here loses some credibility depending on the level of trust the audiences have towards the non-established top level domains. For example, we were taught that all top level domains such as .Edu’s and .Gov’s are websites with great trust. And currently, Canadian government top level domain is “GC.Ca” so it has nothing to do with the government going by this fact.
“Get Tested for HIV,” that is the second line of the text within the image. The campaigns goal of the image “reached its objectives” explained Squibb, with “The possible history of potential partners,” being “undeniably effective”. The image “undeniably” used the ethos to increase the viewer’s full potential of testing. Although the audiences’ next move is unpredictable since the image references a website with “.ca”.
The various facts which broaden this image’s strength in the beginning of this analytic essay has become quite complex and after exploring the campaign’s objectives, it becomes clearer to comprehend the true strength of the image. The image was designed to be strong as Bristol-Myers explained and the skills which were used to increase the audience were undeniably complex. The context of the message, however, is simple to understand and simple enough to keep the same main point across all audiences.
Yet, the main goal was to educate the public about unprotected sexual intercourse and that was evident within this image, from where the team attracted the audiences’ attention, initiating logos, the logic of being aware of what you know now to use ethos appealing logos, where the viewer decides their next move from the rest of the audience. This was executed with precision and most likely, why these series “won many national and international awards.”