QLD Dept. of Health urges young Queenslanders to whip out an ‘STIcebreaker’ via GrowthOps


GrowthOps has created a campaign for the Queensland Department of Health to reduce sexually transmissible infection (STI) rates in Queensland by introducing ‘STIcebreakers’ –– a series of simple, catchy phrases young adults can use to initiate conversations around sexual health.


With only 28% of sexually active young adults getting tested, and only 40% ever discussing their sexual health with a health professional, the campaign arms young people with ways of broaching what can be an awkward topic.

Says Caroline Starecky, head of strategy, GrowthOps Brisbane: “Nervousness, embarrassment and shyness are the main barriers for our target audience when it comes to talking about STIs. If we can get people to start talking to each other about STIs, then we remove the stigma associated with the topic and increase the rate of people getting tested.”

The campaign includes several different ‘STIcebreakers’ — some with a conversational tone and others with their tongue very firmly in cheek to appeal to the younger demographic.

Says Lindsay Thompson, creative director, GrowthOps Brisbane: “STIcebreakers are good for more than just a night of passion. They are also a way of looking after each other’s health, friend looking after friend, partner looking after partner.”

The campaign is a new iteration of the ‘Stop the Rise of STIs’ sexual health campaign and utilises diverse imagery with vibrant, eye-catching headlines. The photography focuses on showing people engaged in the STI conversation to normalise the topic and give the viewer the confidence to have the conversation themselves.

Jane Martin, director of marketing and communication, Queensland Health: “STIs are common and on the rise in Queensland, particularly among young adults. We needed a way to get this audience talking about their sexual health, and position testing as a normal part of their health routines. We know that behaviour change is hard so the STIcebreakers are designed to help young people initiate the conversation, and position testing as the social norm.”

The campaign launches this month and uses a range of online and geo-targeted channels including social, digital banners and out of home convenience advertising in universities, cafés and bars.

Agency: GrowthOps
Creative Director: Lindsay Thompson
Senior Art Director: Simon Budzevski
Copywriter: Heath Kunde
Producer: Natalie Mitchell
Account Director: Dianne Grice
Account Manager: Dan Paull
Head of Strategy: Caroline Starecky
Junior Planner: Stephanie Collins
Video Editors: Nic Fornasier & Tom Coade
Sound Designer: David Gaylard
Senior Mac Artist: Steve Wallwork

Client – Queensland Government – Department of Health
Director Marketing and Communications: Jane Martin
Marketing Manager: Jennifer Cassidy
Marketing Team Leader: Heather McGregor
Campaign Managers: Stephanie Hall & Bennett Annis-Brown
Photography: Lis Harvey

QLD Dept. of Health urges young Queenslanders to whip out an ‘STIcebreaker’ via GrowthOps QLD Dept. of Health urges young Queenslanders to whip out an ‘STIcebreaker’ via GrowthOps