nsw health

NSW Health Mandarin-language HIV Testing Campaign

Heterosexually identified men who have sex with other men (MSM), particularly those from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds, are often difficult to reach and engage.

They are less likely to access sexual health information and services and are typically highly concerned about keeping this aspect of their lives secret from family, work and community.

Traditional materials designed for gay and bisexual men do not resonate with them. Additionally, strong cultural expectations in certain migrant communities to marry and have children add to the complexity.

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Objectives

Develop and market-test an advertising campaign in Mandarin, targeting heterosexually identifying men who have sex with other men. The campaign aims to:

 

  • Raise awareness about the importance of HIV testing.
  • Drive traffic to the newly developed Mandarin HIV testing landing page on the NSW Health website.
  • Make HIV testing a regular part of health check-ups for this target group.
nsw health
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nsw health

Strategy

For this campaign to be effective, it must be shaped by market research with the target group:

 

  • Research: We began by analysing available research to understand their knowledge of HIV, transmission modes, fears, motivations and barriers to testing.
  • Communication Strategy: With this understanding, we developed a clear communication strategy to address their fears and motivations.
  • Advertising Development: Next, we created in-language advertising messages and selected appropriate images that reflect their identity.
  • Testing: Finally, we tested these ads with the target audience to ensure the content, messaging and delivery accurately resonated with their cultural nuances and needs.

Campaign recommendations

  • The target audience must see themselves reflected culturally in the communications.
  • Address their key emotion of ‘fear of being outed’ uncovered through the market research.
  • Emphasise that HIV testing is discreet and private.
  • Avoid gay stereotypes and explicit references to sexual behaviour to lessen the perception of being singled out.
  • Communicate information in a comfortable, casual manner while maintaining an official and professional tone.
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The solution

Market research revealed that our target audience is deeply concerned about maintaining their privacy regarding their sexual lives, which takes a toll on their mental health. Many have the misconception that HIV only affects gay men and are hesitant to test with their usual GP or near their home.

To address these issues, we developed multiple advertising messages that emphasised the privacy and confidentiality of HIV testing. The final ad copy, “Anyone can be affected by HIV. To protect yourself and your family, get an HIV test. Testing is private and confidential.” became the cornerstone of our campaign. This message, along with supporting calls to action and carefully chosen images, was thoroughly tested with the target audience to ensure it resonated deeply and effectively.

Deliverables

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