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Rather than taking a negative approach that uses scare tactics and piles on statistics to deter unsafe sex, DDB made the strategic choice to use humor and shock value. However, it was important for us that our creative response felt empowering to the 55, 60, 65+ demographic. Whether the younger generation likes it or not, our grandparents are having sex. We wanted to make a sexy ad that maintains a level of tastefulness and encourages seniors to enjoy their sex lives –safely.
While the ad maintains a playful tone, the truth remains that shocking statistics have recently come to light showing that the rate of STDs among older Americans, including syphilis and gonorrhoea, has doubled in the last decade, and the rate of HIV infection is reaching similar levels. From 2005 to 2009, the number of cases of syphilis and Chlamydia in seniors in central Florida rose 71% and 62% in the entire state.
Some experts hypothesize that this epidemic of STDs among senior citizens is a result of growing up in an age before sex education was the status quo. With DDB New York’s rich history creating healthcare campaigns, we felt uniquely positioned to help ensure that a lack of education is not the reason this issue persists, and hope this campaign will help dispel stigmas around talking about safe sex practices for seniors.