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

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Case Details:

Case Code : MKTG159
Case Length : 37 Pages
Period : 2003 - 2006
Pub Date : 2007
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization : Not Applicable
Industry : Not Applicable
Countries : South Africa

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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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Excerpts Contd...

Problems with Global Fund

In May 2002, Global Fund had agreed to fund loveLife with a five-year, US$68-million grant. The first phase of the grant (US$12 million) was made available to loveLife in January 2004. In May 2005 the Secretariat of Global Fund recommended discontinuing the second phase of the grant to loveLife...

An Innovative Marketing Program

Despite the criticisms, marketing experts opined that loveLife was an innovative program. loveLife had smartly leveraged on the ideology of globalization and commercialization to present the lifestyle which it advocates as a 'brand' for young people. The loveLife brand was promoted with the same international branding techniques and intensity as any other popular brands among the youth. The messages were indirect and hardly touched on the major elements of HIV transmission and sexual practice. Instead the issues were addressed in the context of lifestyle issues. Celebrated author Tina Rosenberg said that loveLife seemed like a "cult" brand. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Bank said that loveLife has been discussed as a model for HIV/AIDS prevention campaigns...

Criticisms of Lovelife

loveLife critics questioned the effectiveness of the program. They said that more research was needed to measure the true impact of loveLife. Some of them viewed the Global Fund's decision to discontinue funding of LoveLife as an indication that the campaign was ineffective...

Lovelife's Response

In response to these criticisms, loveLife maintained that its programs were very effective. Harrison accused critics of having a "one-side" view without taking into consideration the complexities of HIV prevention and loveLife's contribution in the field. He claimed that there were "positive correlations between participation in loveLife and lower rates of HIV."...


loveLife had conceded that Global Fund's decision to discontinue funds would pose a challenge to the program. Matlhape said that loveLife's campaigns, particularly the NAFCI, would suffer because of the Global Fund's decision. She said, "Think about all the people in rural communities where HIV-prevention messages have to be reached. Losing this amount of funding limits our ability to respond to these initiatives ... It's (NAFCI) that component of loveLife that we will have to revisit and see how we proceed." However, Matlhape also made it clear that the funding withdrawal would not come in the way of loveLife's goals in any way...


Exhibit I: loveLife Logo
Exhibit II: Some of loveLife's Controversial Billboard Ads
Exhibit III: Map of National Distribution of loveLife Service Facilities and Outreach Programs
Exhibit IV: Some Outdoor Media Ads of loveLife in 2004
Exhibit V: Some Outdoor Media Ads of loveLife in 2005
Exhibits VI (A): Some Outdoor Media Ads of loveLife in 2006
Exhibits VI (B): Some Outdoor Media Ads of loveLife in 2006
Exhibit VII: Some Outreach Facilities and Activities of loveLife
Exhibit VIII: Youth Magazine: Uncut
Exhibit IX: Screenshot of the loveLife Website
Exhibit X: Factsheet on National Survey of 15-24 Year Old South Africans about HIV and Sexual Behavior


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