At a public health conference a few weeks ago one of our former clients from The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, who is now a professor of journalism and communications, shared a great presentation on how to communicate more effectively on topics of social change, specifically in the health sphere. Like many of our clients, one of the hardest areas for public health communication is around sensitive topics that involve social taboos. Often the hardest part is beginning the conversation. These two campaigns that she shared brilliantly use humor to open serious discussions about two topics, prostate cancer and male suicide.
The first link is a larger version of the commercial that shows its success as a case study, you can find just the commercial itself here.
Many clients struggle with using humor on these sensitive topics, finding the right way to laugh about the issue but not at the person. These campaigns can serve as examples of highly successful uses of humor to wedge open the conversation.
Note: in China you can try googling “prostate Czech” to find the first ad and “Dr. Rich Mahogany man therapy” to find the second.