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Using A Facebook Viral "Scam" To Raise Awareness Of An Actual Virus, HIV

A Brazil radio station reached more than 1 million people with its stealthy Facebook campaign advocating condom use.

Using A Facebook Viral "Scam" To  Raise Awareness Of An Actual Virus, HIV

Spurred on by alarming statistics about HIV/AIDS rates in Brazil, Rio radio station 102.1 Mix FM took to social media to cleverly, stealthily advocate condom use. A narrated video clip (with some cheesy references to "headlights") outlines the scheme Mix FM employed on World AIDS day in December: Post two videos on Facebook, one of a muscly guy, one of a sexy girl; have these videos virally repost themselves on the viewer’s profile immediately after being watched. The message? Well, kids—that’s what happens with AIDS, when you don’t practice safe sex and use a condom. Think about it.

While Mix FM’s hopeful claim that young people "are crazy about the radio" (almost as crazy as they are about sex!) may be tough to quantify, the station’s forward-thinking strategy was one that guaranteed interaction with scores of youth. Mix FM proclaimed it a success somewhere between reaching 1 million people and having Facebook shut down the "virus" before the day’s end.

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