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China carries out a mind-boggling 13 million abortions a year, the highest abortion rate in the world. By contrast, there are only 16 million births every year. Information regarding contraception is absent in school curriculums and young Chinese seek out sex knowledge from their equally uninformed peers, or from Internet porn. As such, the general attitude to sex in China is immature and unsafe sex is prevalent.Contraception advertising is generally limited to promoting condoms (targeting men), whilst most communication to women around this topic is adverts for cheap abortions for less than US$100. At the same time, ‘coitus interruptus’ is still the most preferred form of pregnancy avoidance, with about 2.5% preferring the morning after pill.Bayer Women’s Health’s COC (combined oral contraceptive pill) – Yasmin – was given over-the-counter CFDA approval on 6th July 2016 – and so we embarked on a plan to overcome ingrained sex habits.Execution:We partnered with China’s #1 dating and relationship host to produce two candid gender-specific sex-ed videos and distributed it through SuperTimetable, China’s number one curriculum app, reaching a network of 3,000 Chinese universities, covering 18 million students direct to their smartphones.We surprised them by dropping our “class” (educational videos) into every students’ daily curriculum as a “must-take class” that required their attendance at 9pm every day. To keep the birds and bees buzzing, we created a #HowtosurvivetheworldoutsideGuide on Weibo (China’s top social network) and a series of infographics about different contraception methods and circulated them on social media. On Sep. 23, before World Contraception Day, we organized a live-stream event, featuring:•International students from around the world to share the sex-ed they received at school. •Celebrities to share their views on the importance of contraception. •Renowned gynaecologist to give professional sexual guidance.Synopsis:With approval to be sold as an Over The Counter medication without a prescription (for the first time), female contraceptive pill Yasmin’s goal was to increase sales by over 10%. However, with poor sex education and lack of category understanding, the job would require a dynamic campaign on a minimal budget, to influence young Chinese adults whose ‘regular’ contraceptive methods included from the morning-after-pill to abortions. Creating social buzz was demanded from this limited budget campaign.Outcome:This campaign truly was revolutionary. A video of such scale on sex-education was something that authorities would never engage in or promote, students were stunned, curious and most importantly were talking about contraception and Yasmin.Our videos achieved 12 million viewership in the first week of distribution, then continued to climb to 30 million the first month as social sharing brought the video to broader audiences. Our Weibo had over 20 million reads and over 100,000 discussions. Over 40 mainstream media reported this event and crowned it an “unprecedented event owed to generations in China”.Yasmin’s awareness rose dramatically, on Baidu Index, search increase of 60%, with search on mobile increasing 68%. As a direct result, sales of the morning-after pill, which for a very long time in China has been considered as the regular conception method, dropped 44% YOY where COC increased by 42%.Strategy:Most women give birth to their first child in China by the age of 27-28, by which time they would be married with a job, and able to take on the personal and financial responsibility for looking after a child. Under this age, therefore, is when much of abortions happen. We decided that the student population was the most in need of education on COC pills.We realised we could not drive sales without educating our young women and men about their options in safe sex. Creating a dialogue on the topic of sex offered us a way to both grab attention in a pretty conservative society, and nurture a change in behaviour.We started our revolution on Chinese university campuses and delivered straight to the hands of the young Chinese students – through their mobile.
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