Ad shows miracle of ARVs


IT HAS no amazing special effects, there’s no celebrity endorsing it and it isn’t selling a sexy product. Yet a television ad created by a South African advertising agency recently scooped the advertising industry’s equivalent of an Oscar because of the powerful message it conveys.

In the 90-second ad created by Ogilvy Johannesburg we see a rounded woman wearing a white nightdress. She’s the picture of health as she gets into her bed – but then in a series of shots taken over 90 days we see her grow thinner until she’s a skeleton on the brink of death. Only at the end do you realise the sequence is shown in reverse and the woman’s health has in fact been improving.

The transformation of the 45-year-old HIV-positive woman is nothing short of miraculous – and it’s all because she started taking antiretrovirals (ARVs). Selinah Phungwayo’s recovery was filmed by Ogilvy Johannesburg for the Topsy Foundation, a charity that cares for HIV-positive people in Mpumalanga.

Ogilvy had for the past 10 years supported the foundation as part of its social responsibility agenda, so when they were asked to make an ad appealing for donations so Topsy could help more people, they agreed immediately.

Read the full article in the Drum of 5 August 2010

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