The Lovelife Brand (B): Evolving the Campaign's Communication Strategy for HIV Prevention in South African Youth

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Case Details:


Case Code : MKTG159 For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 500;
For delivery through courier (within India): Rs. 500 + Shipping & Handling Charges extra


Marketing, Advertising and Promotions, Consumer Behavior
Case Length : 37 Pages
Period : 2003 - 2006
Pub Date : 2007
Teaching Note : Not Available
Organization : Not Applicable
Industry : Not Applicable
Countries : South Africa


This case is the second part of a two-case series about loveLife, a multi-million dollar HIV prevention program that was launched in South Africa in 1999 with the stated aim of reducing the rate of HIV infection among youth by 50 percent within five years. loveLife's integrated marketing communications initiatives and various community outreach initiatives aimed at influencing the South African youth to adopt a healthy lifestyle and perceive safe sex as 'cool' and 'hip'.

In 2004, loveLife changed its communication strategy to reposition its image and keep it relevant to the target audience.

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The use of sexual imagery that was the hallmark of the previous campaigns was not visible anymore; instead the messages appealed to the aspirations of the target audience to make them focused on their future.

However, many critics maintained that the campaigns were still incomprehensible. The most serious debate was regarding the effectiveness of the program as loveLife had failed to achieve its original target of reducing the number of HIV infected youths to half by 2004. In December 2006, this argument gained greater credence when the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis & Malaria (Global Fund), a major provider of funds to loveLife, decided to discontinue funding for the program as it felt that it was becoming difficult to ascertain the effectiveness of the program. The case further discusses the strategies adopted by loveLife to reposition itself and some of the criticisms leveled against the campaign.


Understand the evolution of loveLife's marketing campaign to change the behavior of South African youth to prevent HIV

Appreciate the steps taken by loveLife to reposition itself among the target audience

Understand the issues and challenges faced in bringing about a change in sexual behavior among the South African youth


  Page No.
A Costly Experiment? 1
Background Note 3
Evolution of Lovelife's Communication Stragegy 5
An Integrated Marketing Approach 10
Restructuring 18
Impact of the Program 18
Problems with Global Fund 19
An Innovative Marketing Program 20
Criticisms of Lovelife 21
Lovelife's Response 22
Outlook 23
Exhibits 25


loveLife, HIV / AIDS Prevention Programs, Community Health , Behavior Change, Lifestyle Branding and Positioning, Marketing Strategy, Community Outreach Initiatives, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Nelson Mandela Foundation, Thethajunction, South Africa Youth Centres, Mass Communications, Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, Edutainment Media Campaign, Social Marketing

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