Ad agency Banjo has managed to lure music festival fans into taking a pee test for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) after winning the NSW government Sexual Health Festival activation campaign.
Charged with convincing people to pee in a pot, Banjo developed the ‘Down to Test’ experience using the temptation of a VIP Chill Out Zone offering charging docks, glitter bars and the most coveted of festival perks, clean toilets.
The Down to Test zones are offering music fans the chance to test themselves for a common STI in exchange for entry to the zone and help them learn more about the importance of safe sex.
The campaign, which will run for a total of three years, also breaks down the barriers to talking about the dangers of STIs.
Faced with a new, sexually adventurous generation, NSW Health wanted to find a way to open a conversation with them.
Sarah King from Banjo said the brief was to get on the same level as the hard to capture audience to discuss a critical issue endangering their health and the health of their sexual partners.
“There is a percentage of young people who have a lot of sexual experience and take a lot of risks when it comes to their sexual health,” she said.
“They want to have sex with as many people as possible, and are definitely not looking to commit. They are misinformed about sexual health. They make excuses that condoms reduce pleasure and are unreliable. They also think that STIs are a normal part of having a lot of sex.
“We knew that this group wanted two things: lots of sex and the ultimate festival experience. The Banjo idea was just that, we gave the ultimate festival VIP experience to those who get themselves STI tested.
“We made getting an STI test attractive – a VIP experience that adds cred to their social feed and even something that gives you confidence to have even more (safe) sex. It is like an upgrade to your festival life and your sex life.”
The Down to Test zone had its first outing at the Listen Out Sydney Festival and saw the VIP installation besieged by fans keen to make the most of the free facilities and get tested.
With a target of testing 150 festival goers, 530 signed up and peed in a cup to be tested for chlamydia and gonorrhea, with the offer so popular organisers ran out of testing pots and had to replenish supplies.
Test results are shared just days after the event along with education material about sexual health, while those testing positive are guided to medical treatment.
King said the reaction from festival-goers was astonishing.
“We thought we’d have to be dragging people in, but as soon as the gates opened, it was packed and stayed that way all day,” she said.
The VIP area was in action at the Strawberry Fields Festival last weekend and will also be open at Festival of the Sun in Port Macquarie next month. The campaign is also supported by a website.
Banjo’s portfolio of work for the NSW government continues to grow across a number of different departments.
Campaigns promoting major timetable changes across public transport and the launch of the new B-Line on Sydney’s Northern Beaches have been rolling out over recent weeks.
Banjo CEO Andrew Varasdi said a variety of different government entities had come to the agency as a result of the way in which it approached the business.
“We have an approach that we have developed that works extremely well for us in generating the right strategic and creative outcomes for government business,” he said.
“This approach really is the secret to unlocking the insights that will drive consumer behaviour and that informs the final creative product.”
While the Timetable and B-Line campaigns are now in full swing, the agency is poised to begin work on another campaign for road enforcement tackling drink driving and seat belts.
“Government campaigns are something that everyone in the agency loves to work on. It’s incredibly satisfying to be producing campaigns that influence behaviour, which are informative and which save lives,” Varasdi said.