As soon as I saw this poster on the Underground I knew that I would be blogging about it. I wish this was because it’s a great cause that needs promoted (it is) but it’s not what I’m writing. The reason I’m doing this is that this poster just left me confused. It’s a difficult topic to ‘promote and the topic, and poster, is bound to leave people uncomfortable.
The confusion comes from the mixture of image and headline copy. Presumably the phrase ‘real men’ was meant to mean ‘normal’ or ‘every day’. It’s a way of showing that male rape happens to more, and different, men than you’d think. Problem is the phrase bypasses ‘regular’ and goes straight into ‘EPIC LAD BANTER TIME’ territory. As mentioned on AdFreak it ends up making rape seem like some sort of rite of passage or initiation that just happens. I can only assume that isn’t the point at all.
The image is equally, um, open to interpretation. The campaigned was planned and designed to run alongside the Six Nations (because all ‘real men’ watch rugby) which explains why the ball is there. What it doesn’t explain is what it’s supposed to represent. Is this the male ego deflated after being raped? Is the nail raping the ball (I apologise for even typing those words)? I just don’t know.
To give SurvivorsUK their due, it is a really difficult topic to promote and an amazing service to provide. Given the amount of press coverage the posters have received knowledge of the posters, and service, should be high. No press is bad press and so on. I really that those that need the service now know about it and get all the help and advice they want or need.