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2018 Gold Public sector


Agency: Ogilvy

Client: PHE

Campaign name: Someone Like You

Campaign overview

Making sex safer for young people

The brief

51% of all new STIs diagnosed in 2016 were in people aged 15 to 24 years.

So this campaign had a single objective: to promote safer sex through condom usage.


Young people don’t think they’re at risk of STIs, and condom use is not seen as the norm. For any awareness campaign to succeed, the work had to be difficult for young people to dismiss.

For example, pregnancy is the number one concern of the demographic; they don’t think they’re at risk of infection. It required hard facts, and powerful messages – tailored to an audience of 16-24 year olds.

The campaign needed this audience to understand that anyone who doesn’t use a condom can get an STI, including them.

Young people aren’t confident enough about sex to be able to joke about it and they often don’t engage with plays on words or innuendo. A super simple creative concept was going to be essential.


The answer was to let young people do the talking.

It would be a good way to reflect diversity and to cover a range of different health harms messages – and to demonstrate that ‘normal’ young people really are at risk.

The angle taken was to interview 16-24 year-olds who’ve had an STI, resulting in honest and open discussions of symptoms.

These simple descriptions of personal experiences were hard-hitting and chimed perfectly with the line: “anyone who doesn’t use a condom can get a STI”.

To get interviewees to tell their stories, without worrying about the stigma attached to STIs, identities were hidden. The work used a visual language that the audience use daily to communicate feelings and emotions every single day: emojis.

They added colour and drama and crucially, helped to tell the stories in the sound-off, video viewing environment.


The film was promoted on Snapchat, Instagram and other channels.

Young people were targeted in two different situations. Firstly in a ‘cold state’, when they could be educated about health harms associated with sexually transmitted infections.

And secondly a ‘hot state’: a time when sex could be imminent, when good intentions disappear and the audience needed the hardest-hitting messages to be served to them.

The highest engagement came from ‘hot state’ activity, with people swiping up to watch the longer film. The campaign worked because it made the audience sit up and take notice.

They saw themselves in it. And once attention was captured, the problem could be more clearly explained, along with a simple solution.

Campaign video


Ogilvy - Charlie Wilson, Executive Creative Director - Andy Davis, Creative Director - Keeley Ashdown, Art Director - Katie Prendergast, Copywriter - Dani Vazquez, Designer - Elinor Jones, Managing Partner - Louise Lomax, Business Director - Paida Fundira, Project Manager - Alex Newman, Planner - Sarah Hall, Agency Producer - Michael Owusu, Editor - Alistair Moncur , Editor - Colin Foulkes, Colourist

Bare Films - James Lawes, Director - Malte Rosenfeld, DOP - Kelly Doyle, Producer - Hattie Masterson, Production Manager

Living Well - Natasha De-Bique, Marketing Campaign Lead - Ian Williams, Head of Marketing

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