Sexual & Reproductive Health  
  India: “What Kind of Man Are You?”

“What kind of man are you?” - A national campaign on HIV/AIDS released by Breakthrough for the first time directly asks men to wear condoms to protect their wives from the infection. 2 million women in India are infected with HIV/AIDS—and most of them have contracted it from their husbands.

Breakthrough’s SMS HIV/AIDS helpline 7333 is answering queries related to HIV/AIDS on a daily bases. From methods of preventing HIV/AIDS to negotiating relationships – the questions have reached over 4000. For the first time SMS technology is also being used as a HIV/AIDS helpline in India.

Crossword – a national bookstore chain joins hands to spread the message “What kind of man are you?’. Bookmarks and calling-cards with helpline numbers and messages asking men to wear condoms to protect their wives from HIV/AIDS hit stores in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata and Chennai.

“What kind of man are you?” campaign is now on the radio waves. How to discuss condoms with your partner... get talking about sex ... radio skits have been created specifically to catalyze dialogue around HIV/AIDS and negotiating safe sex between men and women.

Roll out

In May, 2005, Breakthrough launched its national campaign highlighting women’s vulnerability to HIV/AIDS. Created by adverting agency McCann Erickson in seven languages -Hindi, English, Tamil, Telegu, Bangla, Kannada and Marathi, the campaign has reached millions across India, promoting gender equality and calling for male accountability and responsibility for checking the spread of the disease.

To increase the reach and impact of our human rights message, Breakthrough elicited the help of a team of luminaries in the media and entertainment world. The campaign itself was sensitively created by ad guru Prasoon Joshi, who personally penned the lyrical prose. Mandira Bedi and Samir Soni leant their star power to advance the cause, not only as the stars of Maati, (Breakthrough’s music video set to the vocals of Shubha Mudgal), but also as media spokespersons who advocated for the rights of women in numerous press conferences across the country.

The Launch...The campaign lunched with five press conferences in Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore and Kolkata.. “Wives ask husbands to wear a condom” “A campaign to give voice to HIV infected women”, “Do you care for your sweetheart?” --city after city, over 162 articles appeared in the national and regional press and every main line television channel featured the campaign, thus centre-staging the issue of a husband’s responsibility to protect his wife from the infection.

To maximize reach to a varied audience, we utilized a variety of media channels:

  • Music Video: The music video Maati, featuring an original song by Shubha Mudgal and staring Mandira Bedi and Smir Soni, premiered as an MTV exclusive and continues to play on music television stations such as MTV, Channel V, Zee Music, Zoom, Etc and . To view the music video, click here. Click here to see stills from the behind the scenes of production.
  • TV: Millions of people viewed the TV spots on leading cable networks such as Star TV, the number one channel in India, Sony, Sahara, the ETV family, NDTV and Khobor Aikhon the local Bangla channel. To view English versions of the spots, click here.
  • Print ads: Eight colorful, visually appealing print ads were created which appeared in newspapers like Dainik Baskar, Dainik Jagran, Sakal, The Hindu and magazines like Meri Saheli, Sakhi, New Woman, Reader Digest, The Record, Art India, Man’s World, Desh, Shananda and Time Out Mumbai. Collectively this represents a readership of over 35 million people covering nearly the entire Hindi belt of northern and western India, Maharashtra and Karnataka. Click here to view the English version of the print ads.
  • Radio: Thanks to the emergence of FM channels, radio listenership in India is booming. This allowed us reach audience of over 5 million people with crucial HIV prevention messages through partnerships with Radio Mirchi, Amaar and Power FM in Kolkata and Radio City in Bangalore who all aired the jingles for a month after launch.. Click here to listen to the spots
  • Cinema Halls: Multiplexes like PVR in Delhi and Bangalore; Adlabs, Fame Adlabs, Cinemax, Inox, Fun Republic in Mumbai and Globe and Priya in Kolkata carried the PSA before the screening of hit movies like “Bunty and Babli”, “Dus” and “Pareenita”.
  • Book marks and calling cards created specially for the campaign have been circulated through the bookstore chain Crossword in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Bangalore. As a part of the campaign calling cards have been created with helpline numbers relating to HIV/AIDS for the above cities.
  • Outdoor: Across Delhi, Mumbai, Kanpur, Kolkata and Bangalore an effective out door campaign was launched, which included hoardings and bus and train transfers. Placed on prominent locations across the five cities, sharp two line slogans were used to draw the attention of commuters to the need of using condoms as prevention against HIV/AIDS.

The campaign was truly multimedia in every sense as the power of the internet was used effectively too. Rediff.com, one of the most popular portals with traffic well into the millions, hosted a micro site for the campaign with streaming videos of the television spots and music video. Rediff.com also supports Breakthrough’s anonymous SMS query hotline (SMS 7333)—the first of its kind in India--which has sensitively fielded thousands of question on HIV/AIDS, prevention, STD’s, and sexuality.

As successful communication should, “What Kind of Man Are You?” has taken on a life of its own-- appearing in the most unexpected places. Amazingly the “What kind of man are you?” campaign has found its way into the board game version of the popular quiz show “Kaun Banega Karorpati” hosted by Amitabh Bachcahn on Star Plus! In order to better understand the other ways in which “What Kind of Man Are You?” is influencing and impacting our audience, we have commissioned ORG, a division of AC Nielson, to conduct an impact assessment of the campaign, a report of which will be available in the beginning of 2006.

Even as the media excitement around the campaign continues, our team of facilitators has been effectively integrating the media products into our human rights trainings, including the Levi Strauss HIV/AIDS Peer Facilitator Program, implemented by Breakthrough and Naz. In addition, Breakthrough has teamed up with UNIFEM’s Charka project to bring the “What Kind of Man Are You?” media to six districts throughout India, where we will work with local partners to build their capacity to use media as an advocacy strategy, creating a local dissemination strategy for “What Kind of Man Are You?” in each district.


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