Public Service Announcements Featuring Animated Condoms Airing Up to 20 Times Daily on South African Television
Public service announcements featuring three "jive-talking, gaffe-prone condoms" that were produced and designed by a group of volunteers from various Ottawa, Canada, production companies are airing up to 20 times a day on South African television, the Ottawa Citizen reports. The "Three Amigos" -- Shaft, Stretch and Dick -- are a trio of animated condoms whose 15- to 60-second adventures have gained "minor cult status" in South Africa, according to the Citizen. Ottawa film and TV producer Firdaus Kharas has shipped 14 of the cartoon PSAs to the South African Broadcasting Company and is working on six more episodes. In one episode, the condoms are strapped into a spaceship, as a female voice is performing an "increasingly breathless" countdown "that ends with a fizzle," the Citizen reports. "No condom, no blastoff," a voiceover says. Jill Kruger, deputy director of the Centre for HIV/AIDS Networking in South Africa, said, "I anticipate that the Three Amigos will popularize condoms and lead to increased use, which is vitally important in the fight against HIV infection." Kharas is searching for funding to reformat and mass produce the PSAs in multiple languages and formats for free distribution worldwide. Ethiopia's minister of health recently requested copies of the cartoons in several tribal languages, according to the Citizen. The Canadian International Development Agency is currently considering providing funding for the project, the Citizen reports (Atherton, Ottawa Citizen, 1/26).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.