Australian Government launches ‘Beforeplay’ campaign via Ogilvy to tackle rising STI rates

BeforePlay campaign by Australian Government via Ogilvy

“This is an important health issue, not a taboo topic.”

The Australian Government has launched a new awareness campaign, ‘Beforeplay,’ in collaboration with advertising, marketing and PR agency Ogilvy, with the aim of encouraging regular STI testing in young adults aged 20-34.

The campaign introduces the concept of ‘Beforeplay,’ encouraging getting an STI test before embarking on sexual activity, in addition to using protection, as a new step in a sexual health journey.  The initiative aims to combat statistics indicating that one in six Australians will contract an STI during their lifetime, with a notable increase in cases of syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia. 

Minister for Health and Aged Care Mark Butler has commented on the campaign’s significance, stating, “The ‘Beforeplay’ campaign is a timely reminder of the simple steps everyone should follow to stay in control of their sexual health and prevent STI transmission.

“It’s been almost 15 years since the last major STI awareness campaign from the Australian Government. This is an important health issue, not a taboo topic. The ‘Beforeplay’ campaign will help reduce the stigma around STI testing and prevention.”

‘Beforeplay,’ is anchored in behaviour change, extending beyond conventional awareness channels to targeted activities, such as the distribution of specially branded condoms during O-Week activations, embedding the concept of Beforeplay into routine considerations surrounding sexual activity.

The tagline, “Make STI testing your Beforeplay,” is will be a feature of the national campaign, rolled out across online video (OLV), social media, out-of-home (OOH) displays, bar coasters, plus targeted placement on dating apps like Tinder and Grindr.

Ogilvy, responsible for the creative strategy, worked closely with UM on media planning, extending the campaign’s reach to online dating apps and O-Week events.

See also: Socceroos and Ogilvy Australia team up for ‘A Different Breed’ campaign

Shaun Branagan, Ogilvy creative group head, said, “‘Beforeplay’ aims to put the emphasis on making sure people get tested before they jump into things. It’s the important step before the bedroom, and even before the meetup. 

He added, “The campaign also aims to make STI testing feel not like an obstacle, but a normal part of looking after your health. The work introduces new language to make it clear regular check-ups, even outside of perceived moments of risk, is a socially accepted practice, and something people do to proudly take charge of their sexual health.

“It adapts a common component of great sex – foreplay, a moment that we all know comes first – and stretches that concept into a moment that begins before you even get into the bedroom.” 

Client – Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care 
Creative Agency – Ogilvy  
Director – Selina Miles  
Production Company – Scoundrel  
Photographer – Karima Asaad 
Sound House – Sonar  
Post House – White Chocolate 

To Top