Kelly In Catty

This blog is Kell's attempt to keep in touch with friends far away who complain that I don't e-mail nearly enough.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Social Marketing (Rated PG-13)

Yesterday, I came across a company called Better World. They do something called social marketing – which combines traditional advertising and public relations techniques to promote healthy living. They’re responsible for such campaigns as “HIV Stops With Me,” “Ex-Prisoners are Family Too,” “The Biggest Threat (to your teen is you),” and “the ever popular “METH: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly.”

I have to say this up front, because 1) I respect the type of work they're doing. 2) I'm glad SOMEONE is doing this work, and 3)from here on out, my blog story gets ridiculous.

Better World has a campaign, through the San Francisco (and now Santa Clara and Seattle) Dept. of Health called “Healthy Penis.” (I will link it later – now try to focus and read my story. Hey! Dave! Don’t touch that mouse! READ!) The campaign features a costumed mascot penis, and a costumed red raspberry-type character named Phil the Syphilis Sore (I know. I hate costumed mascots – but I’m writing about this anyway). There are also cartoon advertisements, toy healthy penises and palm cards that say 'get tested!'

I found an article on the web, via Dave Barry's Blog regarding the Healthy Penis character. I sent it to the boys in my band – just to make them giggle a little. I didn’t post a subject… Just a link to an article, complete with photo of the Caucasian-Costumed version of Healthy Penis – and an article talking about the campaign moving from San Fran to Santa Clara, California. (He was leaving because his work in San Fran was done. Cases of Syphilis had gone way down) They actually had a going away party for the costumed mascot.

This is high-end marketing, my friends. (It's high-end whenever there's food, btw.)

My e-mail sparked the following comments from the band (note: This is about a penis costume. It’s not meant to be disgusting, but if you have an issue, please feel free to stop reading my post now. I won’t be offended – and you shouldn’t be either. Please remember that the band saw only a photo of the caucasian costumed Healthy Penis Mascot):

Fran: OK guys....Kelly has just found our new band outfits (for the 3 of us)....let's see, if we gotta wear these getups, what's Kelly gonna wear?

: Do they come with a reattachable hood for Gentiles?

Scott: I think the bass player should dress up as "Phil the red-faced syphilis sore…. Did you notice that the costume is white? I think it's a genocidal plot to save the white race while destroying black and latino communities through a syphilis epidemic. Probably Bush's doing.

(Scott likes to try to spurn me on about politics… I like to spurn back, so I wrote):

Kelly: The question - Where does one draw the line? Three Penises and only One Disease? Just Syphilis? What about those suffering AIDS or Ghonorea - or CRABS? Why leave them out? I think it's Bush's fault.
So the solution is clearly to even the score. We need three or four penises, and at least a dozen cauliflower-shaped diseases. While we're at it, why not just build a theme park?
Hey! I hear Mall of America just ended their relationship with United Features Syndicate, and no longer have Snoopy - Why not theme the mall with Healthy Penises? Think of the video games, t-shirts, and endorsements! "Kobe Bryant has a Heathy Penis.... Do you?"
Does anyone want to talk about this any more?

Dave then suggested we call my new penis-clad (cough, cough) band “The Lean Mean Schween Machine.”

I suggested a few names at this point that I won’t share with you guys, in case the offended person is, for some reason, still reading this post. Anyway, the subject was too tempting, so I Google'd the Healthy Penis Campaign Website (making sure I added "Better World" to the inquiry). It wasn’t hard to find.

And there are penises of all races! Phil the Sore is joined by HIV!

Social Marketing, thy name is diverse! Now go and cure the world from the spread of syphilis… Just know I won’t be hiring the mascot for any parties!



  • At 5:14 AM, Blogger Sarabeth said…

    I'm offended, but only because Healthy Penis wears a shirt (or super hero suit) in one of the comics that says "HP". No, that's me. And, my "HP" doesn't stand for healthy penis, although I only ever touched a healthy one. It was a requirement.

  • At 6:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    You never fail to enrich my life with interesting and important information! Thanks! :-) Jane D.

  • At 10:01 AM, Blogger Trixie said…

    AND the sore is named "Phil" which really makes this a story that only HP can love...

    WaWa really needs to read this article not so much because of the whole healthy penis issue but because of the mascot. He will be sending this to his friends as well and they will all make similar jokes in bad taste. But the message will be out there...


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