On my way to work this weekend I noticed a particular public health ad traveling the Broad Street line. The ad was bright with the Philadelphia skyline gracing its background and spat FREECONDOM. Although the message of safe sex is not unique to the city of Philadelphia, the delivery and presentation is unlike any other public health ad.
One of the most interesting aspects of this ad is the cartoon spokesperson, Zelda. Zelda is portrayed as the young “cool mom”, she looks welcoming and understanding of sexual health needs.
But let’s be honest, who wants to go to their parents to talk about sex? This is exactly want the ad is trying to convince the audience, a mutual understanding between a child and a parent to talk about sex and the risks involved.
When I visited the site, the campaign was very consistent with the displayed ads. The color scheme was similar as well as the text and the message and there is even a link to “meet” Zelda.
TakeControlPhilly.org has recently been scrutinized for their services. The website offers a map where you can find free condoms as well as direct mailing for ages thirteen to nineteen.
Although the ad and its message are controversial, TakeControlPhilly does a great job in delivery.