October 30, 2010

Scriptoria Blog

MOOdunnit: there’s nowhere for the monkeys to live!

Hats off to Friends of the Earth who have managed to combine a series of complex messages centring around climate change, deforestation, and factory farming into a very watchable (and very funny) short video. You can watch the film at http://snipurl.com/1dd4fx.

 In only a few seconds, the video manages to explain complex links between factory farming and the shipping of soya beans as animal feed, the cutting down of Amazonian rainforest to grow the soya, and the UK government spending which encourages this practice. This means that they’re mixing three hot topics in the public’s eyes (government budget allocations, climate change and biodiversity loss through deforestation), any one of which is likely to make a different segment of the UK public audience sit up and take note.

Here at Scriptoria, we love this use of comedy to interest people in issues that can be very technical and which can easily be portrayed in a very boring way. It’s been done before of course. Remember the EU Chemical Party video designed to make chemistry and molecular bonding interesting in order to encourage more kids to become scientists? And yes, they really did manage it - you can watch that film here http://www.scriptoria-blog.co.uk/?p=560.

Of course, not every subject is suitable for a humorous twist. And done badly, you can offend rather than interest. But come on non-profits, if the subject’s right you should be trying to make these important messages stand out from the crowd by mixing humour with serious issues.

All the best, Jim

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October 25, 2010

Scriptoria Blog

Give me some Shuga – top-class sustainable-development communications

Watch and learn - Africa’s cool new ethical drama Shuga is taking Africa by storm, and educating people about AIDS and HIV. If you’ve spent more than ten minutes with anyone from Scriptoria, you’ll know it’s our mission to raise the standards of communications for sustainable development. That’s why we’re so pleased to see MTV teaming up with UNICEF to produce a TV drama that does just that.

Shuga deals with complex social and ethical issues surrounding AIDS and HIV - from the lifestyle choices that increase your chances of catching the virus, to the need to have regular tests and ensure that your partner gets tested too.

These are important messages in Sub-Saharan Africa, which remains the region most heavily affected by HIV. As of 2008, Sub-Saharan Africa accounted for 67 per cent of HIV infections worldwide, 68 per cent of new HIV infections among adults and 91 per cent of new HIV infections among children. Plus, most transmission in this region occurs in heterosexual relationships – as opposed to among injecting drug users, for example.

What makes Shuga different? The audience it’s trying to reach for one thing. Shuga’s fast-paced storylines (more…)

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