From March 16th through the end of April 2016, dresses made entirely of condoms will be on display in Omaha’s Cinderella’s Formal Dress Rental inside Crossroads Mall, as well as at Hello Holiday in Dundee. Teens shopping for a prom dress this month will be surprised by an unconventional message about safe sex. Each week a new dress will be put on display for teens and parents to see.
A “price tag” on the attention-grabbing dress reveals the true costs of unprotected sex: STDs or unplanned pregnancy. The tag reads, “Being safe is always in style. Avoid sexually transmitted diseases and unintended pregnancies,” and directs people to GetCheckedOmaha.com. The website provides a locator map with over 60 locations that provide free condoms. Parents can also download a Family Communication “Lets Talk” toolkit, with resources and tips for talking to teens about sex.
So far, the stunt has been picked up on Seventeen.com, Cosmopolitan.com, Glamour UK, USWeekly, Huffington Post, Yahoo News and more. Dresses were designed and created by fashion students at the Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago. They graciously donated the dresses for our cause.
The guerilla marketing campaign is the latest public awareness effort by the Adolescent Health Project, a program of the Women’s Fund of Omaha, and is part of a larger campaign to educate youth on risk factors and encourage teens to make informed decisions about their sexual health. SERVE Marketing, a non-profit volunteer agency based in Milwaukee, WI., is the creative team behind the Adolescent Health Project’s campaigns.
“A condom dress is a powerful conversation starter,” explains SERVE creative director, Gary Mueller. “This is a great opportunity for us to reach teens and their parents in an unexpected way before prom, and get the message out to think twice before having unprotected sex, because it can lead to multiple health risks or even a baby. This is a picture that speaks a thousand words.”