The Tony Award-winning musical AVENUE Q and Logo proudly announce their partnership in a national public service announcement campaign designed to create public awareness surrounding HIV in 2013. The campaign, sponsored by Gilead, will feature six on-air spots, written by the Tony Award-winning book writer of AVENUE Q, Jeff Whitty. Popular characters from the musical, including Lucy, Rod and Ricky, will be featured in the PSAs, alternately known as “puppet service announcements.” Airing on Logo, the first spot will debut during the 90-minute fifth season premiere of RuPaul’s Drag Race, on Monday, January 28 at 9 PM ET/PT. Each on-air spot will be complimented by six separate online spots (viewable at LogoTV.com). New spots are scheduled to roll out every eight weeks throughout 2013.
The PSAs cover a range of topics from erasing the stigma of HIV, talking frankly about sex with your partner(s), the importance of being tested and to adhering to HIV treatment if positive. Viewers will be encouraged to rethink HIV . . . Spread the word, not the virus.
“It is the goal of this partnership to reignite a discussion around HIV, especially in the gay community – a population that is still seeing HIV rates rising in spite of increased awareness and education,” said Amy Wigler, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Logo. “These ‘puppet service announcements’ will use the comedic talents of Avenue Q to fearlessly address issues surrounding infection including frequency of testing, anonymous sex, stigma, open communication and more.”
AVENUE Q co-producer Robyn Goodman states, “We are very proud to be partnering with Logo on this important effort. Throughout its run, the AVENUE Q puppets have been able to tackle key issues — from Presidential elections to same-sex marriage and now HIV awareness — in their own, singular heart-’felt’ way.”
The combination of human actors and puppet characters in the PSA campaign mirrors the premise of AVENUE Q, a musical about 20-somethings who move to the city with big dreams and tiny bank accounts, all neighbors on a rundown street where they deal with grown-up issues while they try to find their purpose in life. One of the most enduring hits in New York, now in its 10th year on stage, AVENUE Q has become an international sensation with productions in countries around the world.
The PSAs star Lucy The Slut, a cabaret singer, street-walker and AVENUE Q’s resident home-wrecker; Rod, a closeted, Republican investment banker with a tremendous fondness for Broadway musicals; and Ricky, who appears at the conclusion of AVENUE Q, turning Rod’s world upside-down.