SAN FRANCISCO, March 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- AIDES, the first AIDS-prevention nonprofit organization in France, and Goodby, Silverstein & Partners (GSP) announced today the launch of their latest campaign, "Protect Yourself." The campaign consists of print, out-of-home and an online video.

A new, original campaign for AIDES

This new effort started with a simple insight: in society, using condoms is less taboo than it used to be; but in moments of sexual intimacy, talking about protection is still an embarrassing conversation to have. GSP's challenge was to find clever ways to de-dramatize the somewhat embarrassing, if not plain awkward, moment when condoms need to be discussed.

Humor rather than fear

To avoid using fear tactics, the effects of which are questionable, and to avoid adding to airwaves saturated with frightening messages, GSP thought it was time for a happy change. "Protect Yourself" celebrates a more positive approach to sexuality, or even sexualities, as there is more than one shade of gray in this rather creative field.

While fear stigmatizes, humor disarms. The communication to deliver a serious message can also put a smile on someone's face. This is why cartoon imagery was chosen as the creative element.

Saucy stories to convey the importance of safe sex

A series of comic strips was commissioned with the intent of motivating everyone to wear condoms during sexual intercourse. Six visuals were created by GSP and brought to life by famous illustrators. Nathan Fox showed how wearing rubber gives you an advantage in your dating life, regardless of how scary you look. Cristiano Siqueria, a Brazilian illustrator, showed how condoms open all kinds of doors-and legs. And in a much more vivid, street-art style, he reminded those who like it rough that there is an easy way to stay safe. Finally, Mike Kazaleh, a veteran of animated cartoons who collaborated on successes like The Simpsons and Futurama, gives us a good laugh with a deadpan use of case-by-case storytelling. All of those visuals link back to an upcoming website,, that will offer practical tools and tips for talking about condoms with your partner(s).

Plenty of fun attractions to explore

For those who are looking for a more joyful, liberated version of family theme parks, GSP created a detailed map of a fictional place called SexLand. Illustrated by U.K. artist Rod Hunt, it shows the various kinds of sensations one can have when riding protected. This real-looking folded map will be distributed in magazines and to the visitors of the Museum of Sex in New York. And to bring more interactive fun to the party, GSP is working on adapting it as an iPad game.

An example not to follow

Online, GSP created a cartoon video that features a promiscuous cat named Smutley. He does not discriminate. Smutley will have unprotected sex with anything on two legs, four hooves or a couple of flippers, if the situation arises. However, he's only able to do this because he is a cat with nine lives. Everyone else needs to protect themselves with condoms.

Smutley's hedonistic and dirty perversions have been paired with a 1920s black-and-white animation style. The juxtaposition between this basic style, the story and the music is both unexpected and engaging. It will be playing on French television networks, and with any luck, Smutley will become the next YouTube sensation.

Smutley was directed by Against All Odds through Passion Pictures, a London-based animation studio. Joan Jett & the Blackhearts donated their track "Bad Reputation" to the cartoon and AIDES. To watch Smutley and all his antics, visit

Viral vs. viral

All elements of the campaign were designed to be extremely engaging and "contagious." Their originality and humor will propagate wide and fast enough, and people will get the message: being open about condoms as protection opens all kinds of fun possibilities.