Rhythm launches Blood Borne Virus education campaign for Department of Health WA

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At first glance, the Department of Health’s Blood Borne Virus (BBV) campaign appeared straightforward enough. Serious viruses like HIV were doing substantial harm in some Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. The problem was that many individuals engaging in risky activities were not getting the blood tests that would help treat the viruses and contain their spread. This was the goal: encourage people at risk of contracting a BBV, particularly those sharing needles, to get regular blood tests.


But it wasn’t that straightforward. Rhythm and the Department of Health W.A conducted an intensive round of one-on-one interviews with the very people the BBV campaign needed to communicate with. It became clear that the target market was in no position to act on any message, no matter how well put together. These are lives that are all-consumed by drug use. Nothing else gets in.

What also became clear was that those who had visited clinics to get blood tests, had been taken by friends, parents or other family members. Every single one. Friends and relatives were the essential catalyst. This group was the target market. Rhythm needed to speak to people who were in a position to care and, most importantly, act.

The campaign’s two films, posters and digital assets were borne out of this revised strategy. Their tone is all about authenticity. The stories eschew melodrama but don’t shy away from talking openly about the issues.

Gordon Haynes, Rhythm’s creative and strategy lead, said: “The Department of Health’s support was amazing. We completely changed course and they were all for it. We can’t thank them enough and that goes doubly for the people who bravely shared their stories. Their insights were invaluable.”

Director Matt Pitcher, DOP Lewis Potts and the entire BBV campaign team have delivered something real and optimistic. Something that speaks to those who can make a difference. A life-saving one.

Pitcher added: “It’s not often that we get to work on projects with such a positive impact. These opportunities are what made me want to become a filmmaker in the first place, so I instantly resonated with the campaign. The Department of Health and the Rhythm teams worked incredibly hard to identify the right message for their audience, which then allowed us in production to find the right voice for our characters and tone for the campaign. With the help of our amazing cast and crew, we crafted an understated and authentic series of films that will no doubt resonate deeply with the viewers it aims to reach.”

Agency: Rhythm
Client: Department of Health W.A
Creative Lead: Gordon Haynes
Art Director: Stef Langton
Account Manager: Jodie Hameister
Production: Rhythm Films
Director: Matt Pitcher
Executive Producer: Candice Shields
Producer: Shannon Hicks
DP: Lewis Potts
1st AC: Brianna Trinidad
Gaffer: Dan Spriggs and Nick Valentini
Best boy: Jocelyn Richards
Grip: Greg McKie
Grip assist: Jackie McKie
Set stylist: Monique Wajon
HMU: Kate Farmer
Prod assistant: Sonya Rifici
Stills: Mauro Palmieri
Stills assistant: Amra Bellatalla
Edit: Cal McLean
Grade: Lewis Potts
Sound: Cue Sound
Talent: Marlanie Haewara, Mystique Garlet, Ash Penfold, Trevor Ryan

Rhythm launches Blood Borne Virus education campaign for Department of Health WA Rhythm launches Blood Borne Virus education campaign for Department of Health WA Rhythm launches Blood Borne Virus education campaign for Department of Health WA