PSAs Two Ways: Zika Virus


I saw this bus-shelter PSA about the Zika virus recently and thought it was interesting for a couple reasons.

  1. It’s an ad about the sexual transmission of Zika, but does not mention actual sexual transmission.
  2. There are kind of a lot of instructions  (1. Love your partner. 2. Wait to get pregnant. 3. If pregnant, use condoms to protect the baby. 4. Prevent Zika) and without knowledge that Zika can be transmitted sexually, it may seem kind of confusing.

There might be some rules about what can and cannot be said in public-space ads like bus shelters, but the coyness of this particular PSA in avoiding saying the words sexually transmitted seems maybe a little too coy.

A few days later, I saw a targeted ad on Facebook from the Philadelphia Department of Public Health with a slighty different picture and different text. The link makes it clear that it is about the sexual transmission of Zika and the 2 sentence caption is clear and informative.

The exact wording here and the sentence format may not work for a large bus shelter ad, but it seems much more direct and easy to follow than the bus shelter ad.