People are afraid of the unknown. Fear breeds ignorance, which in turn breeds prejudice and indifference.
How do brands break the cycle of fear and prejudice, especially against a fearsome enemy like the HIV virus?
In an initiative to educate youths and stimulate curiousity and conversation among this age group about HIV, Durex Malaysia has teamed up with PT Foundation and AIESEC Malaysia to launch #SOMEBODYLIKEME – a month long social media awareness campaign aimed at encouraging and making conversations on the topic a norm
The campaign also aims to empower youths to take a stand towards an HIV/AIDS-free society.
Eight prominent social influencers including Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir, Niki Cheong, Reuben Kang, KlubbKidd KL aka Joe Lee, Audrey Pui Yan, Hanie Hidayah have volunteered their time and various social media properties to the cause.
They will serve as brand evangelists, actively communicating with their followers on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and Blogs on issues surrounding HIV and AIDS from November 15 to December 15 2013 via the hashtag #SOMEBODYLIKEME.
The objective of this campaign is to correct the wrongful presumption that HIV is irrelevant to youths in Malaysia and to highlight that the disease can affect anyone – including "somebody like me."
Mr. Abhishek Chuckarbutty, marketing director of Reckitt Benckiser Malaysia & Singapore said that 31% of the 3,438 HIV cases reported in Malaysia were young people aged between 13 and 29 in 2012.
“Despite these alarming figures, it is disconcerting to note that many are not equipped with sufficient knowledge and feel that HIV/AIDS are irrelevant to them. #SOMEBODYLIKEME seeks to challenge and rebut these presumptions as HIV/AIDS does not discriminate and can infect or affect anyone” he added.
Durex has also enlisted retailers Watsons and Guardian in a supporting on-ground campaign. There is also a contest encouraging youths to add their voice on the Durex Malaysia Facebook page with an iPad Mini as incentive.
Sonia Chua adopted Durex Global's creative for this campaign while iHub Media and Perspective Strategies took on social media and PR duties, respectively.