Morbid ad campaign doing more scaring than raising awareness

By on December 8, 2010

With Kim Kardashian posing dead for AIDS, a campaign backing a great cause is really a parent’s worst nightmare.

The newest AIDS campaign launched by Keep A Child Alive, a non-profit program dedicated to providing support to families affected by HIV/Aids decided the best way to promote AIDS awareness was to have celebrities pose in coffins.

I couldn’t help but cringe when I saw the headline “Kim Kardashian Poses in a Coffin for World AIDS Day” and never mind when I saw the actual picture on my AOL News feed. I have all the respect in the world for AIDS charities, but this is just sick.

I commend everyone involved in the campaign, and AIDS campaigns in general, but this is just a little too brutal. I understand the message of the campaign but this completely takes it over the top. Putting healthy people in coffins is not only morbid but appalling.

Is this the only way that people will care? If they see their favorite celebrities in coffins versus the actual people that are in coffins from HIV/AIDS? That’s how the campaign is making it seem.

The other celebrities “playing dead” in this campaign include Alicia Keys, the face of the whole campaign, Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga, and Ryan Seacrest, who hope to get a rise out of people not only with their deadly photos (job well done), but with the end of their so-called “digital life” by not using social media until $1 million is raised.

Considering that this campaign is specifically catered to families with AIDS, did the designers of the ad forget their demographic? What parent in their right mind would want to think of their disease burdened child in a coffin? According to, even Kris Jenner, mother of Kim Kardashian, was horrified with the picture of her supposedly lifeless daughter. Keep in mind, Kardashian is alive and well. This whole concept is just twisted.


About Christine Burroni

Arts & Life Editor
Twitter: @ChristineBurr
Hometown: Yorktown Heights, N.Y.
Year: 2013
Major: Print journalism
Hometown: Writer for a high end magazine


  1. Keepin It Real

    December 8, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    So, what is your solution? I can’t stand it when you write critizing a good cause and yet you have nothing to suggest. If you have nothing better to write – don’t write at all.

  2. peripheries

    December 9, 2010 at 7:27 am

    The whole idea of “celebs” pretending to be dead to raise money is just sickening. It is self-serving and I completely agree with Christine. what is the value of life if its reduced to that of being able to read celebrity’s tweets ?

    I say let them die….

    • NBBoy

      December 9, 2010 at 2:25 pm

      Peripheries. The “celebs” raised well over a million dollars and no doubt made quiet contributions themselves. They did it through the most current and popular form of mass communication. You are entitled to your views on Twitter. I don’t “tweet” and find a cell phone or emails quite sufficient. However, it’s the outcome that matters. It’s a million dollars the cause didn’t have before the campaign. And hopefully it will play a valuable part in eradicating the virus or at least developing a vaccine against it. As far as “letting them die” if you mean people living with HIV/AIDS then I hope that none of your friends or family are ever affected by it. Cheers.

  3. NBBoy

    December 9, 2010 at 10:03 am

    Christine, I can empathize with your position. Death from HIV/AIDS related illness is not pretty. In fact it is a horrible way to die. It is also known as the “wasting disease” and the “thin” in some parts of the world. It must also be noted that AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome) is not a disease in of itself. It is the total process made up of the initial infection, including the immune system attack, immune system breakdown and the subsequent opportunistic infection by other ailments including leukemia, cancer, pneumonia etc. Hence “syndrome”. And yes, seeing celebrities posing dead is quite shocking. Yet many big names have lost their lives to HIV/AIDS related illness. Rock Hudson, Freddy Mercury, Liberace, Rudolph Nureyev, Robert Reed, Isaac Asimov, Anthony Perkins and the list goes on. So I believe the campaign is not only effective, but legitimate. And it has done what is was designed to do. Draw attention to the cause. And your reaction proves it has done just that. Cheers.