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The United Nations has launched a series of 20 animated TV ads to stop the spread of AIDS, featuring cartoon condoms named Shaft, Stretch and Dick.


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The U.N. is trying to help stop the spread of HIV with ‘The Three Amigos,’ who appear in this spot called ‘Talk.’

Available in 41 languages, the U.N. calls The Three Amigos ad campaign the “start of the world’s largest integrated behavior modification program.”

“We’re using humor to stop the spread of AIDS,” Canadian producer-director Firdaus Kharas told reporters.

The program has a potential reach of approximately 80 percent of the world’s population, the U.N. said.

The condom characters are pictured in a variety of settings, including a spaceship, soccer field and casino.

A spot called “Talk,” which features the three condoms on a couch interviewed by a TV talk host, reads like this:

INTERVIEWER: And you never try for sex on the first date?

DICK: Never, we just … talk [nervous laugh]

SHAFT: Yeah, about stuff, and everything. [As female audience begins booing].

STRETCH: You see, manhood today, it’s like a spirtual thing. [Audience booing grow louder]

INTERVIEWER: Yeah right, evolved men. Give me a break. [Audience cheers].

VOICE OVER: Trust your insticts, not your date. Carry a condom. Stop the spread of AIDS.

The spaceship spot has the Amigos as astronauts on a rumbling launchpad inside a condom-shaped craft as it builds power to liftoff while a female voice, apparently mimicking orgasmic sounds, counts down. The launch suddenly aborts and the voice over at the end tells viewers: “No condom, no blastoff. Stop the spread of AIDS.”

The soccer ad says: “You just can’t score without a condom.”

The U.N. says the “groundbreaking HIV/AIDS prevention strategy” is strongly supported by South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who has called the TV spots “a powerful communicating tool.”

Tutu has written an open letter to broadcasters around the world with “an impassioned plea” to “use these PSAs. They cannot be played enough.”

The U.N. says The Three Amigos already has received 25 international awards and competitive festival selections, including four international awards in the last week alone.

It currently is playing regularly in South Africa, the Netherlands and Canada.


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