HIV/AIDS, Ebola, and malaria in the mirror of African social advertisement

Publication type Article
Status Published
Senior Research Fellow, Center of History and Cultural Anthropology, Institute for African Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences
Vice-Director, International Center of Anthropology, Faculty of History, National Research University Higher School of Economi
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
Journal nameAsia and Africa Today
EditionIssue 3

The paper deals with social advertisement on HIV/AIDS, Ebola, and malaria in African cities. Each of these diseases is treated differently by the authors of advertisements in terms of key messages to citizens, ways of representation and emotional component. Billboards dedicated to Ebola and malaria are logical, consistent and easily understandable: they give a very clear instructions on the ways of protection from the diseases, although the advertising strategies in these two cases differ greatly (Ebola social advertising uses disturbing colors, splashes of red, multiple exclamation points, clearly indicating emergency situation and drawing people’s attention in a very aggressive way, while malaria social advertising is very calm and positive emotionally, it uses positive images, images of smiling people, smiling children, photos of famous people inspiring their fellow citizens to sleep under nets and care about their families). In case of HIV/AIDS various approaches to the problem are shown: examples of ABC strategy, useless abstract billboards without any message except for “Stop AIDS”, billboards widely using manipulation and false logic to motivate people to be tested for HIV. The authors of HIV/AIDS’ social advertisement to some extent face the same challenges, as the actual epidemiologists due to the way of transmission of the disease and it social character, issues of personal choice and sexual behavior, and in many cases they fail to succeed. However, successful examples with clear, efficient and consistent messages are also present.

KeywordsAfrica, social advertisement, billboard, HIV/AIDS, Ebola, malaria
Publication date27.03.2019
Number of characters19784
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