Syphilis is back and better than ever warns FCB

Back from the dark ages, Syphilis the sexually transmitted disease is back with a vengeance. New Zealand Aids Foundation (NZAF), Durex and FCB have teamed up to help raise awareness, helping adults stay safe, rather than syphy.

Syphilis has become such a problem in this country, that it’s now at its highest levels ever. In fact, syphilis diagnoses have increased from approximately 200 in 2014 to over 1,500 last year.  

The campaign took the road of ‘is this actually still a thing?’ and the answer is hell yes. Using some new modern dating language, FCB creatives merged our new, romantic phrases such as ‘You up?’ and ‘Down to fuck?’ with the 18th century style dark ages.

Mickey Power, marketing, communications and fundraising manager for the NZAF says the campaign to raise awareness was a real clash of eras.

“We took modern hook-up language and situations and inserted a character out of time – someone in 16thcentury garb, looking to proposition partners. Modern pick-up lines have been given a Shakespearean makeover – “Art thee down to fornicate?” Even Kiwi classics took on a dated feel – “Dost thou wanteth a root?”

In the dating app, Grindr, the campaign borrows from the vernacular of the medium, as men-out-of-time proposition users with lines like “Upeth to?” and “May I behold thine aubergine?”

The historic look was achieved in collaboration with the Pop-up Globe Theatre and stylist Lucy Jane Senior.

Tony Clewett, chief creative officer at FCB said, “To halt Syphilis in its tracks, we needed an engaging and thought-provoking campaign that our audience simply couldn’t ignore. I’m thrilled we’ve achieved it with a powerful message that was not only beautifully executed, but brings a smile to your face.”

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