Rod Hunt Goes Viral
This is a sensitive topic so we’ll try to be ginger about it.
Have you ever caught something? Maybe from someone you met on a night out and left that interaction with more than just a new friend? Have you ever had to go to the doctor after an evening someone new? You’re not alone. It happens every day, and we all come in contact with more than we know. The French AIDS non-profit AIDES and TBWA\Paris launched a viral activation last month about sharing the love but protecting yourself. They commissioned a massive, and risqué, illustration by Rod Hunt that was then shared in pieces on Twitter. As the images were shared, larger pieces of the illustration were released through an account named “Henry Ian Vernon,” but it wasn’t until the whole illustration was made public that it was obvious Vernon’s alias was for the initialism HIV. The activation proved that sometimes we share things without total knowledge and it can be personally damaging.
It’s a powerful message with a fun piece of work by Rod. And Rod had a lot of fun drawing it. “The brief was showing sex without showing sex,” he explains. “It was everything had to be hidden so no junk, no boobs, no nipples, it had to be sent out and shared on Twitter.” Rod’s illustration is a massive playground of sex with hundreds of couple (and more) engaged in #NSFW behavior. But Rod made sure every element was inexplicit while remaining illustrative.
A lot is going on in the illustration, not just in terms of sexual activity, but also all the environments Rod created for his denizens. Everything from a nightclub to a theme park to a rocket launch to a private island. They’re all covered by bodies having a good time. And staying as safe as possible. Except for maybe the couple on the ride-on mower: that may not be totally safe. “The main center of it was this nightclub in the center of it was a real starting point and focal point of the whole thing,” Rod explains. “But then there’s also the little things in there like little jokes like the couple doing it on a ride-on mower mowing the grass, or while jet skiing. There’s a little hip-hop video shoot on the island. A lot of little jokes to look out for.”
The illustration itself gets pretty racy the closer you look, but seems pretty tame from far out. And that’s part of the message too: if we want to stay safe we have to look closer and take the details a little more seriously. Once that’s all wrapped up: have fun with it.