Branding, Creative Direction, Story development/writing, Strategy
Tui Bian – or, 'transformation, becoming something greater than you were' – is an HIV intervention campaign targeting gay and bi men in Nanjing, China. Funded by the Chinese and US Centers for Disease Control, the campaign is a first of it's kind anywhere in China.
Currently, HIV transmissions are on the rise, and the Chinese government has no culturally relevant information on HIV transmission, safer sex, and treatment. I worked with a small team of public health officials in the US and China to transform months of extensive Chinese gay/bi behavioural research into a visual communication strategy that targets homophobia and AIDS-related stigma, encourages regular HIV testing, and empowers young men with a sense of hope and community.
Graphic storytelling as a communication strategy
Fear, stigma, isolation, and homophobia – all emergent cofactors in HIV transmission – manifest literally as ghastly slime demons in urban China. The storylines detail how certain characters, all of who represent common themes in the research, overcome these obstacles, battle the monsters, and transform into superheroes with the power to transform the lives of others.
The campaign includes interactive and print components: an informational website, posters and comic booklets, and wearables like branded tshirts, underwear, and silicon bracelets (photos of wearables to come just as soon as they arrive via post).
Our grant renewal, which was recently ranked in the top 5% of all similar grant proposals, is highly likely to be funded again. If so, the work will continue with new storylines and enhanced digital/social media components.
Phase I launched August 1, 2014.