Evaluation Report: Take Pride in Yourself, Take Care of Each Other

John Maxwell
Gay Men's Health Promotion Coordinator
September 1993


HIV/AIDS educators from Canada's three largest urban gay centres (Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver) met in October 1991 to discuss the issues, concerns and educational challenges they face in working with men from large organized gay communities. From out of these meetings, came a decision to work together to develop an HIV prevention campaign targeted to gay men in these three centres during the summer of 1992.

Following the implementation of the "Summer in the City" campaign in late June 1992, these same educators once again met to evaluate the success of this joint project. Because it has been agreed upon that the same educational tools would be used in all three cities, development of campaign materials took place entirely in Toronto. All design, printing, and most of the conceptualization was centred in this one city. Even though constant consultation and communication occurred, difficulties arose in translating the agreed upon slogans and messages into French - many times the meanings of the slogans were lost in the translation. While campaign messages and images were very well received in both Toronto and Vancouver, there was less of an effective impact in Montreal.

Consequently, these educators agreed to adapt their approach to a tri-city campaign for the summer of 1993. Rather than developing one set of educational tools, they agreed to a common theme for the campaign. Where possible, educational tools would be shared and/or modified for use in another city. It was believed that this approach would better allow for the unique cultural differences that exist in each of these cities gay communities to be better reflected - thus producing a campaign that would be more effective in achieving its goals.

Since 1993 marked the ten year anniversary of community organizing against HIV/AIDS in all three cities, that was chosen as the theme for the 1993 tri-city campaign. The launch date for the campaign would be the end of June, coinciding with Lesbian and Gay Pride celebrations in Toronto.

At a meeting in March 1993, educators from the three cities met to share preliminary plans for the summer 1993 campaign. At that time, Montreal indicated that they would be unable to participate in the summer campaign. Vancouver and Toronto agreed to share a common slogan for the campaign - Take Pride in Yourself, Take Care of Each Other.

Focus groups held here in Toronto helped to shape both the images, and the messages of campaign elements. What became very clear from these groups was that a campaign that congratulated gay men for their achievements in fighting AIDS and adopting safer sex was not appropriate - rather, this campaign should acknowledge the achievements of gay men and stress that the battle is not over. (For a more detailed account of focus group responses, please see the focus group report entitled "A Qualitative Report on Congratulatory Campaigns and Gay Men.")

Campaign Materials:

Materials developed included a condom packet, a small flyer, a poster, T shirts, as well as advertisements in both XTRA! magazine (Toronto's lesbian and gay newspaper) and NOW magazine (an alternative newspaper).

Focus groups had identified a need for campaign materials to be made highly visible. They identified both print ads in gay and non-gay press, and poster distribution that was not confined only to traditional gay venues (Bars and bath houses) as effective ways to spread the campaign message.


All campaign materials were distributed during the last week of June, to coincide with Lesbian and Gay Pride Week in Toronto.


750 posters were distributed in the following locations:

Gay Bars:
Bar 1 Isabella
Bar 501
The Barn/The Stables
Boots and Backbar
The 457
Club Colby's
The Playground
The Toolbox

Bath houses:
The Spa on Maitland
Club Toronto
St Marc Spa
The Cellar
The Barracks

Gay Community Venues (Church/Wellesley Neighbourhood):
Hassle Free Clinic
The Second Cup
This Ain't the Rosedale Library
The Treehouse
Hasty Market
The 519 Church St Community Centre
Ciao Restaurant
Body Body
Simon De Groot Meat Market
Out on the Street
Badali's Market
Lee's Glitz
Light Spectrum
Escape Travel

Postering on hoardings occurred in the Queen Street West area, along Parliament Street, as well as up and down Church Street the day before Pride Day.


8,000 flyers were distributed in the following ways:
-Through ACT Infoboards in gay bars, baths and other community locations (25 Infoboards in total)
-At The AIDS Candlelight vigil
-At gay community dances during Pride Week
-On Lesbian and Gay Pride Day (at the ACT table)

Condom Packets:

11,700 condom packets bearing the campaign logo and slogan were distributed via condom blitzes during Pride Week at gay bars and dances. As well, condom packets were distributed at ACT's information table on Pride Day, and through the crowds.

T Shirts:

T shirts were distributed to ACT staff, and gay community outreach volunteers, and were available for sale at both Out in The Street and Flatirons Department Store. In total, 120 shirts were distributed.

Evaluation of Campaign Materials:

Survey Methods:

The survey selected subjects from gay identified venues (i.e. gay bars) and other commercial venues in the Church/Wellesley neighbourhood where campaign materials had been displayed.

Time Frame:
Surveying occurred on three separate dates: Saturday August 14, Saturday August 26 and Sunday August 27. Surveying was conducted both at night (in gay bars), and during the day (in commercial venues).

Participants were selected upon availability as they entered the venue/locale. Individuals were shown the "Take Pride in Yourself, Take Care of Each Other" logo and slogan, and asked if they remembered seeing this in the past two months. They were then asked a series of questions pertaining to the image, slogan and message of the campaign. If participants were not familiar with the campaign, they were shown a copy of the print ad, and asked to comment on the image, slogan and message of campaign. (Please see attached copy of survey questionnaire, APPENDIX A).

Sample size:
A total of 128 people who were approached responded to the survey questions. 21 persons refused to participate, for a refusal rate of 14 per cent.

Survey Results:

61.7% of those approached immediately recognized the logo and slogan as part of the summer 1993 campaign produced by ACT.
75.8% of all respondents liked the image used for the slogan, which incorporated the red ribbon, the pink triangle, and the words "10 Years".
83.6% of all respondents liked the slogan used ("Take Pride in Yourself, Take Care of Each Other").
(Please see APPENDIX B for detailed survey results).

For those individuals who had immediately remembered seeing the image as part of the campaign, they were asked where they remembered seeing the image. Multiple answers were allowed, but by far most people recognized the image from posters that were displayed in community businesses in the Church/Wellesley neighbourhood. This fact lends support to the idea of displaying HIV prevention materials in prominent locations within the gay community -rather than solely relegating materials to Information boards in bars and bath houses.

Campaign message:
This part of the survey involved written responses that were recorded by the surveyor.
By far, most respondents stated that the campaign recognized the ten years of gay community action in the fight against AIDS, and the need to continue that fight because AIDS is still an important health issue facing the gay community.

Large numbers of respondents felt that the use of the red ribbon, which is almost universally recognized as a symbol of AIDS awareness, was very appropriate as it was eye catching, and made people want to stop and read the written text of the campaign.

A very small percentage of respondents felt that the campaign could have been more confrontational and aggressive i.e. more critical of government inaction during the first years of the epidemic.

Conclusions and Recommendations:

Survey results indicate that both the image and slogan developed were appropriate for a campaign that acknowledged the ten years of gay community organizing in the fight against AIDS. Focus group testing of the initial campaign ideas were effective in helping to modify the message of the campaign - moving away from a purely congratulatory campaign, to one that acknowledged the achievements of Toronto's gay communities and stressed the importance of continued vigilance and safer sex practices.

It was unfortunate that there was not as much sharing of campaign ideas and educational tools with both Vancouver and Montreal. Montreal's decision to not participate effectively turned what was to be a tri-city campaign into a two-city campaign. Vancouver chose to use print ads in the gay media as a vehicle for disseminating campaign materials (as did Toronto) and both cities used the same slogan (Take Pride in Yourself, Take Care of Each Other). Unfortunately, images developed for use in Vancouver were found not to be appropriate for the Toronto gay community.

The distribution of campaign posters/flyers to venues and locations other than those traditionally used (i.e. ACT Infoboards in gay bars, baths etc. was an important step in ensuring that campaign materials were highly visible, and reached a larger proportion of gay men. The use of a print ad in XTRA! magazine (with a circulation of 28,000 copies every two weeks) ensured that campaign messages would be seen by those gay men who may not frequently visit the Church/Wellesley area.


1. That Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver should pursue development of a tri-city campaign for the summer of 1994.

2. That efforts should be made to ensure there is more consultation and development of campaign ideas between the three cities, so that more sharing of campaign materials can occur.

3. That efforts should be made to continue distributing safer sex reinforcement messages through channels such as print ads in XTRA!, and displays in commercial venues in the Church/Wellesley neighbourhood in order to broaden availability of materials, increase campaign impact and assist in the development of safer sex norms in the gay community.

Appendix A

Evaluation Survey

Show campaign logo to respondent:

1. . Do you remember seeing this image in the past two months?

A. YES (If YES go to question 2)
NO (if NO go to question 4 and give copy of print ad to read)

2. Q. When do you first remember seeing this campaign?

A. Before Pride Weekend
During Pride Weekend
Shortly after " "

3. Q. Where do you remember seeing the campaign image?
(check all that apply)

A. Ad in XTRA
Ad in NOW
Poster (Bar)
Poster (Bath)
condom pack
poster in
store, etc.
T shirt

4. Q What do you think about the image (pink triangle and red ribbon). Is it appropriate for this campaign?
(Probe first for respondents thoughts, then code under the following three headings)

A. Appropriate

5. Q. What do you think of the slogan, Take Pride in Yourself, Take Care of Each Other? (Probe first for respondents thoughts on slogan, then code under the following)

A. Good

6. Q. What do you think is the message of this campaign?
(write in responses)


e-mail: Gay Men’s Community Development Coordinator