Brothers for Life makes a difference and wins an Apex

Posted: June 18, 2013

Last night, the national Brothers for Life 360° integrated social communication campaign, in partnership with communications Group Joe Public and Mediology won a Bronze Apex award in the Sustain Category for successfully affecting mind-set's and behaviour change in South African men. In addition, the campaign was recognised with a Special Award, acknowledged only to non profit organisations, charities or causes.

Brothers for Life, launched in August 2009, has sustainably shifted deeply ingrained negative social and cultural norms, in men aged over 30, ultimately resulting in the change of their risky sexual behaviour.

Measuring the effectiveness of social marketing campaigns is arguably difficult, due to the sheer size of the target market to influence and the intricacies of numerous factors.

2013 06 18 Brothers for Life Large

"When you look at how this campaign has drawn in donor funding, its endorsement by high-profile personalities and the awards that it has won in recognition of communication excellence, there's no doubt that Brothers for Life has hit the mark," says Joe Public's Strategic Director Laurent Marty.

The local campaign attracted active endorsements and the participation of global personalities, like Lionel Messi and Thierry Henry, further cemented the evidence of how it resonates with men. It also attracted in excess of R130 million in media placement donor funding, thanks in part to the skilful negotiations by Mediology, over the past four years. Showing the sustained belief in the campaign's objectives and abilities.

"The ultimate question is whether or not Brothers for Life has created the shift it intended to inspire among its target market. This includes not only measuring the behavioural outcomes, but also the extent to which the campaign has addressed the self-efficacy and the social/cultural norms relating to male sexual and reproductive health, HIV prevention and gender based violence," says JHHESA MD Richard Delate.

In order to answer these questions extensive quantitative research - the National Communication Survey (NCS) 2012 - was undertaken to measure the isolated impact of the campaign.

According to the research, men who have a high level of exposure, and by implication identification with the campaign, the greater the likelihood of men to undergo medical male circumcision.

"The research clearly established a number of shifts in terms of attitude, intention and behaviour, but even more exciting is the sustainable nature of the campaign's impact shifting their normative attitudes and behaviour," says Marty.

"Growing our clients is fundamental to who we are and this award is testament to the Joe Public philosophy," he concludes.

Editors Notes:
Brothers for Life is a collaborative effort between SANAC, the Department of Health (DOH), USAID/PEPFAR, Sonke Gender Justice, Johns Hopkins Health and Education in South Africa (JHHESA), the United Nations system and over 100 NGO partners.