BIMM goes ‘Incognito’ to promote ACT’s anonymous HIV testing

Who: BIMM and ACT (formerly known as the AIDS Committee of Toronto).

What: “Are you incognito online?” a new online campaign promoting private HIV testing.

When & Where: The campaign is specifically targeting people who might be using the “Incognito” mode on Google’s Chrome web browser—which is often used to anonymously surf pornography or visit hook-up/cheating sites. The program debuted on June 16, and is running through this weekend’s Pride Parade.

Why: The goal is to create awareness of anonymous HIV testing offered by ACT. According to ACT, 51% of people living with HIV in Canada are either gay or bisexual men, more than 20% of whom don’t get tested as often as they should for a variety of reasons—such as a fear of being judged or the test results showing up on their medical records.

How: The ads specifically target websites that might be used by people in Chrome’s “Incognito” mode, such as gay hook-up sites like and pornography sites like Pornhub and YouPorn. The display ads ask the question: “Are you Incognito online? Be Incognito when you get HIV tested,” and direct users to a landing page providing additional information on private HIV tests.

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BIMM worked with companies that specialize in directing ads towards porn sites, including Montreal-based TrafficJunky (whose home page proclaims: “Your customers are on Pornhub, so why aren’t you?”).

And we quote: The ads are not solely designed to work within “Incognito” mode, but instead reflect online behaviour—particularly around viewing content of a sexual nature, says BIMM’s vice-president, creative director Rene Rouleau.

“We know that when people go incognito they’re obviously don’t want to share something with the rest of the world,” he says. “When is that? Well, maybe you’re looking for a birthday gift for your spouse, but it’s also when you want to be sexually discreet. We targeted places people go when they want to be sexually discreet.”



Chris Powell