Despite considerable progress in cultural attitudes towards sexual and reproductive health, there persists a significant societal stigma surrounding a herpes diagnosis. This stigma is not only detrimental to the mental well-being of those affected, it also discourages open dialogues about proper care. At Wisp, our overarching goal is to offer accessible and convenient sexual and reproductive healthcare services, while actively striving to eradicate the stigma attached to sexual health matters. Education, along with fostering open discussions about herpes, is fundamental to our mission.
In this pursuit, we recognize the value of collaborating with the talented Hila the Earth, a female comedian, rapper, and influencer. By injecting humor and light-heartedness into the subject, we aimed to reframe the narrative surrounding herpes. Together, we opted for an innovative approach— a video that educates and inspires our audience to be open to having conversations around dating with herpes. The response has been remarkable, as our herpes-themed collaboration gained tremendous traction, going viral.
As a part of our ongoing campaign, Wisp and Hila embarked on a creative journey harnessing Hila's rap prowess and comedic talent to craft an educational video about herpes. This video highlights the prevalence of herpes—a condition that resonates widely, potentially touching your life or that of someone you might be dating. Johns Hopkins reports that 50-80% of US adults have HSV-1 (primarily causing oral herpes) and the CDC estimates 1 in 8 have HSV-2 (primarily causing genital herpes). Our intention was to share knowledge, foster acceptance, and destigmatize this very common virus.
Hila shines as a rap visionary. She crafted the original rap, while the Wisp marketing team meticulously verified her statistics and enriched the composition with inclusive language. Hila further brought life into the project through her ingenious portrayal of a dual-character vulva and penis skit. By embodying both facets of the human sexual experience, she skillfully ensured the content's relatability to a diverse audience. We aimed to dismantle barriers and prompt viewers towards greater openness regarding subjects that have traditionally been regarded as off-limits. This partnership embodies our commitment at Wisp to challenge conventional norms through content and collaborations.
Wisp and Hila aimed to connect with fresh audiences, boost brand recognition, and break down the stigma surrounding a herpes diagnosis. Our efforts brought forth significant results, as we engaged an astonishing 999,619 accounts. The majority of this engagement—956,762 accounts—came from people who hadn't previously followed us. It turns out, herpes isn’t the only thing that’s viral.
The impact of our goal was further supported by the impressive figures of 60,274 shares, 11,005 saves and 1,294 comments. These numbers highlight the reach and resonance of our collaboration, as it reverberated throughout the Instagram community, sparking dynamic discussions and widespread sharing. The range of comments we received spanned from positive to negative, indicating the depth of dialogue that our initiative spurred. A multitude of comments advocated for the integration of this video into educational curricula for comprehensive sexual education in schools! Many comments also shared how they felt truly understood by the content, like this one: "I was 19 when I got it, and I thought my life was over. I felt like I was cursed and the stigma hurt even more than the first breakout. So yeah, thanks for this video ❤️."
In the midst of all this buzz, our collaboration went full-on viral, racking up an unbelievable 1,059,940 plays. This incredible feat doesn't just show how dedicated we are to breaking down herpes taboos, but also highlights our message of encouraging open and real conversations.