Virginia Department of Health – Syphilis

Madison+Main worked with the Virginia Department of Health to reduce syphilis rates among MSMs in 2008-2009, when we created a web, guerilla, Out of Home (OOH) and digital marketing campaign that focussed on Richmond and Northern Virginia.


Several tactics we used during the campaign are shown here in this portfolio. Using our connections with NEXTMedia, we placed posters in restaurants in Richmond, Henrico County Suburbs, and in Northern Virginia within the cities of Arlington, Alexandria, and other suburban areas of Western Fairfax County, we created four different versions of the posters, including the one shown to the left. “What do you get for the man who has everything? TESTED.” Giveaway items were distributed in bars frequented by MSMs, including info cards designed to look like lottery scratchers. We also created pre-recorded, water activated urinal cakes that delivered surprising messages in select bars frequented by MSMs in Washington, DC.


Other components of the campaign included a landing page, that encouraged the target audience to get tested for Syphilis, for free or at a reduced price, at locations in Central and Northern Virginia. A final component of the campaign included letters to a select subgroup of primary care physicians and free clinics.