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AIDS Foundation Campaign Has More Than 50 Shades of Gay

An integrated campaign from ATTIK and the San Francisco AIDS Foundation urges gay men to test every six months with the help of "the world’s most customizable avatar generator."

With their rounded heads and compact bodies, they may look vaguely like South Park characters, but the avatars you see above are no laughing matter. Okay, they kind of are, but their funniness is actually a Trojan horse for an important message.

As a pro-bono assignment, San Francisco-based agency ATTIK created an integrated campaign for the San Francisco AIDS Foundation: "Many Shades of Gay." The campaign is focused on normalizing frequent HIV testing within the San Francisco community by promoting the wide-ranging diversity that thrives within that community. The centerpiece of it all is a mobile- and tablet-optimized HTML5 website, which ATTIK developed in-house, that offers what they are calling the world’s most robust avatar generator, with "nonillions" of unique permutations. So, it’s basically a digital Build-a-Bear.

In addition to creating and sharing avatars, users can also subtly absorb the crushed-up pill within the peanut butter spoonful, which is information about HIV testing and locations of testing centers, which are also available on the site. They can also set reminders for their calendar about getting tested again in six months, perhaps even synching it with a dentist visit.

The campaign will be heavily promoted through ATTIK’s online banners, print and outdoor ads, as well as eye-catching drink coasters distributed to local bars. The effort is just in time for San Francisco Pride on June 23-24, as well as National HIV Testing Day on June 27.

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