A naughty new campaign for AIDES, the longest-running French HIV/AIDS prevention organization, features a theme park full of sex-orientated rides whose names and designs run from the euphemistic to the unashamedly rude.
Created by the appropriately named Rod Hunt for the San Francisco-based ad agency Goodby, Silverstein & Partner, it's designed to be provocative, eye-catching and humorous. Rod has worked on maps for real theme parks including Chessington, as well as Top Gear's Where's Stig books. We hooked up with Rod to find out more.
DA: How did you come to work on this?
RH: "Goodby, Silverstein & Partners approached me via my New York agent Bernstein & Andruilli. They thought my wit, detail & experience in creating real theme park maps would make me perfect for their idea of a 'World of Sex' map for AIDES."
DA: What was the brief?
RH: "The aim was to use fun rather than fear as it's primary motivation. [with] the tagline [of] 'The safer you play, the longer you stay' embracing the positive aspects of sex with a condom. AIDES campaigns are known for their creative & provocative approach to the subject of safe sex."
DA: What tone were you going for and how lead to your initial concept for the piece?
RH: "The content & execution was to be fairly explicit, but we wanted to keep the tone bright, fun & humorous, replicating the look & style of an actual theme park map. I started by producing some very quick compositional ideas in an A5 sketchbook, followed by a fully detailed A3 sized pencil rough.
"Once that was signed off I created the final artwork in Adobe Illustrator drawing with a Wacom Cintiq. It's much more intuitive drawing directly on the screen, helping with my speed & workflow."
DA: Did you come up with the names for the rides first, or did they come from the illustration?
RH: "The brief supplied a list of potential rides that encompassed the range of human sexuality, as well as a very rough scamp & layout of their idea. I thought up a load more as I was working on the rough, including the Heavy Petting Zoo, Ticket Orifice, Voyeur's View and The Money Shot.
"The agency then worked them into the final ride descriptions for the fold out map. I think a British sense of humour helped bring a different perspective."
DA: What's your favourite of the rides and why?
RH: "I like the execution I did on The Mine Shaft (below). At first sight, it's slightly subtler, but on closer inspection... Overall though, I'm really pleased with the final results & the little details to see on repeat viewings.
DA: Was there anything you created that you thought went too far and decided not to include?
RH: "We thought better of including a couple of people making out with animals in The Heavy Petting Zoo (below, right), which might have slightly crossed the line in taste."
DA: How will the poster be used?
RH: "The work is being used in press ads, [plus] a poster-sized double-sided foldable 'visitors' map distributed in bars, clubs and the Museum of Sex in New York. [There will also be] an interactive iPad game."
DA: Where is the line between funny and crass when it comes to sex-related art?
RH: "It's a fine line & maybe not easily defined, but I suppose being fun and witty rather than being exploitative is the key. I think I stayed on the right side of it with this artwork."