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#SexMyths PSA blows up teens’ rumors about getting it on February 15, 2014

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How do public health organization dispel teens’ rumors about sex? A new PSA campaign by United Way of Greater Milwaukee is making great strides in its new #SexMyths ads. Each video starts with a teen talking about some popular sex myth, like “If you do jumping jacks after you have sex you can’t get pregnant.” Viewers of the videos are asked whether the statement is true or false, they get the answer after they click, and then they are given more rumors to address. The ads eventually encourage viewers to go to getthesexfacts.com, where adults are encouraged to read about what they’re kids are saying about sex. So far, the campaign is mainly limited to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and at bus shelters.

Notably, experts are saying the campaign is pretty successful. Whereas there were 52 births per 1,000 females ages 15-17 in the city in 2006, the group sees trends reducing that to 30 per 1,000 by 2015 – a 46 percent decline if all works out.

Test your knowledge of #SexMyths by watching the following video:

Discussion Questions:

1.  How does the Milwaukee campaign exhibit the qualities of a viral campaign?

2.  How does the #SexMyths campaign clearly target a specific demographic?

3.  How would one measure the influence of such a campaign?

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“Speechless,” Special Olympics PSA, stuns viewers August 13, 2012

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The Special Olympics has started airing a new public service announcement (PSA), titled “Speechless,” featuring Special Olympics athlete and golfer Susie Doyens. Doyens, who was mostly mute during her childhood, speaks about how her experience in the Special Olympics helped her deal with social anxiety, and evolve into a confident adult. Doyens went on to win over 180 medals in 26 years after asking her parents if she could participate in Special Olympics events. With millions of others hoping to participate, Doyens hopes to help others like her conquer their fears.

To see “Speechless” yourself, watch the following video:

Discussion Questions:

1.  What does the Special Olympics hope to accomplish with its new PSA?

2.  What is the main strategy that the organization uses by featuring Doyens? How does narrative captivate audiences?

Is a shocking PSA from ISPCC too much for television? June 3, 2011

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The Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (ISPCC) used a shocking PSA to launch its summer campaign against child abuse. The video shows a young boy being slapped, punched, thrown, and kicked, and ends with him telling viewers that he “can’t wait to grow up” so that he can help other abused children. The ISPCC stated that it wanted a PSA that was shocking enough to stir the public, but some critics are claiming that they crossed the line.

Psychologist Owen Connolly, who was quoted in Ireland’s Evening Herald, argued that the ad by ISPCC is horrific. “It will provoke all kinds of trauma,” he said, continuing “It shouldn’t be allowed to be broadcast.” The problem, Connolly suggested, is that victims of abuse especially in their 40s, 50s, and 60s will be forced to recall their own terrifying memories. “When you’ve got a shocking image like that with an adult and a child,” he argued, “it’s very difficult for them to deal with.”

To see the PSA yourself, watch the following video:

Discussion Questions:

1.  Why do organizations like the ISPCC feel the need to shock audiences with their advertisements?

2.  Is there a simple test to determine if an ad is too shocking?

3.  Is the ISPCC’s anti-child abuse ad inappropriate? Why, or why not?