Today’s sexual education attempts to shed light on the dangers of sexually transmitted diseases and the smart ways students and everyday people can avoid them. But not all sexual education lessons have proved as successful such as one throwback commercial that has resurfaced for its backwards message.
A bizarre commercial from the 70s designed as a public service announcement to warn on the dangers of venereal diseases (VD), as STDs were referred to back then, might have done the exact opposite by featuring a series of smiling, attractive people dancing to the upbeat tune of ‘VD is for everybody’.
The hilarious commercial by American Social Health Association has resurfaced and has viewers scratching heads on the off-kilter commercial that appears to be selling VD more than warning about its repercussions.
VD is for everybody! The 70s commercial designed to raise awareness of sexually transmitted diseases unintentionally made them attractive and desirable in this backwards commercial
Think twice! The commercial was intended to make viewers think twice about their partners sexual history in the wake of the sexual revolution of the 60s, but it didn’t quite hit the target
The commercial begins with a pretty woman dressed in white reading in the backyard, then continues to highlight a series of attractive individuals smiling or smoldering in their various professions.
In the background a woman croons to the beat of the upbeat, happy melody.
‘VD is for everybody, not just for the few,’ she sings.
‘Anyone can share VD, with someone nice as you. VD is for everybody, darling have no doubt. That anyone can get VD, that’s what it’s all about,’ she continues.
The health commercial if anything seemed to confuse its viewers on the negative aspects of VD, and not only made it seem like a commonplace issue, it made it shiny and alluring.
The small word choice of ‘for’ commodified VD as something to have, rather than something problematic to contract.
Happy feet! The commercial ends with this image and couple dancing happily, making STDs not only commonplace, but blissful and symptom free
Cheesin’! A happy tune plays in the background as all the actors reveal radiant smiles in their successful workplaces, in a contradictory message with the commercial intention
Watch out! The commercial alludes that even this expecting mother has STDs but seems to have no qualms about it and carries on with her day
Not just for the few! Even this man at the deli was alluded to having STDs as the song sang that the diseases are for everybody, not just for the few
The commercial was produced in response to the sexual liberalism and revolution of the 1960s. The era, nicknamed the ‘swinging sixties’, saw the rise of birth control pills for women and the emergence of the gay rights movement, and brought with it a spread of STDs and new knowledge on how to treat them.
While antibiotics were used to treat a majority of STDs, the population took this to mean that STDs no longer held long-term health repercussions, leading to a staggering rise in contracting the diseases.
By the end of the 60s it was revealed that tracing somebody’s sexual history with previous partners was the best way to prevent STDs, leading to commercials such as this 70s hit , which was meant to have people think twice about their partners and to speak to doctors with concerns.
Although the intention might have manifested into a rather skewed minute-clip, the result today is a hilariously entertaining commercial that proves the great strides sexual education has made today.