What Condoms Don't Protect You From is a PSA campaign that was started by the Dozerfleet founder in September of 2008, originally for the fall semester TV Production Writing class with Clayton Rye at Ferris State University.
The PSA scripts were written as a reaction to all the propaganda going on around the Ferris campus that promoted promiscuous sex and rampant condom use. The idea of condom-as-savior is simply wrong; but it's the prevailing message on many campuses. So the Dozerfleet founder dared to send a different message. Other students in the class had participated in some of that very propaganda, and word of this PSA campaign made them very nervous. Tensions only eased a very tiny amount when the sequel PSA was written for Broadcast Writing class in the spring semester of 2009.
What especially annoyed those other students was the "not so fast!" message it implied to them, calling many of them out for how unjustified they were in mocking abstinence education - or reducing it to straw arguments.
"Self Control: It's Priceless"
The first of many clips in this ad shows a teenage girl curled up in shame on the floor. She looks up at the camera, and reminds the audience that paying for condoms on a regular basis costs as much as paying for cigarettes on a regular basis. The point being made is that condoms don't protect from lifestyle expenses.
Another scene features another teenage girl, reminding audiences of just how specific the instructions are on the right way to use one. A condom cannot protect you from your own incompetence. The next scene features a basketball player that reminds viewers that a condom is only as good as the areas it actually shields. Numerous diseases can still be transferred if any infected area comes in contact with another host, including areas that are not shielded properly. So for some, and depending on the disease, a full body condom would be needed in order to shield from disease.
A therapist then reminds viewers that constantly pursuing recreational sex for its own sake stunts mental and emotional growth, and can lead to other psychological malfunctions which are not prevented through condom use. A female politician comes on to remind viewers that condoms don't stop blackmail. An old lady in a nursing home follows up by saying that sex does not always equal love; but that a condom-obsessed culture is a culture that never seems to be able to truly learn that lesson.
Another teenage girl comes on, complaining about how her boyfriend couldn't keep a secret. Condoms cannot protect your reputation. A minister comes on and reminds viewers that if they're under-aged, they have to betray everyone in their lives who is trying to protect them just to get what they think they want. Which could lead to trusting someone else who is untrustworthy. Not only is that foolish, but it involves dishonesty. Dishonesty and the guilt associated with it, and the consequences of such dishonesty and guilt, cannot be stopped by a condom.
A man caught by his wife cheating on him shows up in a divorce court, and reminds viewers that if you're caught in the act, the damage it will do to you cannot be stopped by a condom. A NASCAR driver then tells audiences that a car having an airbag is no excuse to drive like an idiot. Therefore, "why use a thin sheet of latex as an excuse to copulate like one?" This is followed up by an insurance salesman, who gives takes the sex industry's own statistics and throws those statistics right back at them. He points out that assuming the "99% effective" rating they give is accurate (which it isn't,) that means more than 100,000 or more customers per year in the United States alone are potentially being cheated by product defects. And in the game of recreational sex, product defects can mean death. A casino operator also mocks the statistics, comparing recreational sex to Russian Roulette.
An offscreen narrator gets right to the point: "No condom can protect you from yourself." Text on the screen dissolves in, reading : "Self Control," while a girl off-camera with a "black" accent proclaims: "It’s priceless!" The scenery shows a used condom lying next to a tombstone. In fine print, the ad attributes its sponsors; saying that they provided they ad "to encourage healthy living."
A boy and his girlfriend, in silence, stare at each other awkwardly for a few minutes. The boy is obviously suffering from some disease. He tells his girl that she "ruined" him. She counters that they used a condom. He then points out her infected legs as the source of his warts, indicating that the condom didn't shield all the infected areas. They go back to staring awkwardly at each other in silence. White text points out that self control is priceless.
"Self Control: It's Priceless"
For TV Production Writing class, the assignment called for students to write a PSA script. It could be from a minute to two minutes in length, but not more than three. The ad had to convey some important message, preferably without sounding too cliché. After several classmates had been mocking abstinence education and writing scripts in other classes glorifying condoms as some sort of savior, the Dozerfleet founder decided that enough was enough. He decided to write a script that would set the record straight.
He immediately set to work in Celtx developing a script that would inspire reactions of "didn't think that through" in listeners. The script that resulted is as described above.
A 15-second PSA script was called for as an assignment for COMM 385, so the Dozerfleet founder reasoned this would be the perfect opportunity to bring the first script back in a condensed form. "Living Hell" emphasized the first ad's part about how only infected areas that are actually shielded by a condom are prevented from spreading infection, and that there's a lot of surface area during sex which is not shielded by a condom. While times were more fluid for the first script, this script had a strict 15-second time frame. Every action was to be specifically timed to stay within the allotted 15-second construct. Unlike the first script, which was written in Celtx, this one was made in Microsoft Publisher.
Reactions were about as predicted they would be. Students who had been involved in more politically-correct ads were visibly uncomfortable with the existence of this ad script campaign. The one submitted for Clayton's class got the most strong reaction, with Clayton himself showing concern that the tombstone was "a bit cheesy and over-the-top." The second ad didn't cause quite as much of a scene. Part of this had to do with the fact that nearly every ideology imaginable was in COMM 385 in the spring of 2009, whereas a few too many students in the fall of 2008 in TV Production Writing class were dye-in-the-wool liberal.
In the end, Clayton summarized it this way: "While some of the messages in here are quite valid as concerns, good luck finding a network that would actually be willing to produce this. It's so politically incorrect, that it'd be career suicide for at least a few producers."
Computer Systems for Video
Writing for Film
Communications 385 - Broadcast Writing
Technical Theater Operations