Posts by Romy Gakh - Tel Aviv

With HIV tests broadcast live, Israel brings AIDS testing into the open

Despite the prevalence of HIV/AIDS around the globe, HIV testing remains a somewhat taboo topic, even if many people may be anxious to know their status. On World AIDS Day last December, Israeli radio stations addressed this issue head on by turning what’s generally a very private concern into a public one. As part of the “Everyone is being checked” project, commissioned by the anti-AIDS committee, leading radio broadcasters on all stations committed to getting HIV tests live on-air at their stations. Then, for an anxiety-ridden 30 minutes, they waited for the results, which were announced on air (all were negative).

The campaign succeeded in sparking conversations about the importance of getting tested. It received a lot of coverage, appearing on the evening news, and turned out to be the day’s talk on Twitter and Facebook. The live radio broadcasts gave people permission to begin talking about the need to get tested and to confront their anxiety around the test. Brands that want to jump-start conversations around a difficult or taboo issue can learn from this example of a real-time, “reality” initiative that put the topic on the day’s agenda nationwide.

Photo Credit: Jayel Aheram

Israel’s Tara Dairy puts a humorous spin on nostalgia

The recession has changed consumer sentiment toward low-cost, basic products, which are no longer seen as cheap and down-market but rather a proud social statement—a shift leveraged in an Effie-winning rebranding for Israel’s Tara Dairy (Tara), Tara’s products had been considered outdated for an age when many consumers opt for milk that’s fortified in various ways or low fat, and communication was aimed at older, conservative shoppers.

JWT Israel decided to tap into nostalgia for a “back to basics” message, but with a fun, humorous spin. To illustrate Tara’s tagline, “It all begins with excellent milk,” a series of commercials feature Israeli comedic icon Menashe Noy cast as a typical 1960s dairy farmer on a kibbutz. Tending to his cows in a rolling green meadow, Menashe Noy tells stories about his favorite cow in an old-fashioned and annoying but funny way, with many irrelevant details, jumping from one loosely related anecdote to another. He conjures up a simpler time for Israeli viewers.

The campaign managed to both create an aura of nostalgic simplicity around the brand and position Tara as a youthful, energetic brand.