AIM program takes message national

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 7, 2003

On Tuesday, a group of local teens and advisors gathered at First Baptist Church Troy to shoot a series of commercials that could eventually be seen across the country.

The AIM (Abstinence in Motion) Project, in partnership with The Hive Creative Group, INC and WTVY News 4, the CBS affiliate from Dothan, have been aggressively marketing the abstinence until marriage message for the past 10 months and people are starting to pay attention.

Under the direction of David McCormick from The Hive Creative Group and Peggy Roberts of Peggy Roberts Advertising, Mit Kirkland from Scenic Productions videotaped the ads.

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According to Mary Palo of The Hive Creative Group, once completed the series of ads will be offered for sale along with various other materials developed for the project.

"A unique magazine titled Front 2 Back, Back 2 Front will be published within the next two weeks," Palo said. "The goal of the magazine is to bring parents and teens together, enabling them to become better communicators about real issues affecting healthy choices for brighter futures. This magazine will be distributed through the school abstinence programs in our five county region and will also be available for national distribution."

"This national advertising campaign allows local students to get some big-time coverage," said Terry Watkins, director of the AIM Project, "AIM wanted to reach a major audience with an important message. Going national was the best option.

"We wanted a marketable professional product and that's exactly what we've done. It's exciting to see students volunteer to participate in a national commercial that influences other teens to make positive choices."

Each year the National Abstinence Clearing House presents a national conference intended to bring all abstinence programs from across the United State together to learn the latest information about abstinence programs throughout the country.

"More than 1,000 program directors and abstinence educators attend this conference hoping to gather the latest information on how to bring the abstinence message to their own communities," Palo said.

"It is the premier event for abstinence education each year. Renowned speakers and celebrities from throughout the country bring varying perspectives to the platform each year."

This year's conference will be held in Las Vegas, Nev. June 25 - 29.

The AIM Project, under the direction of Watkins, along with Palo and David McCormick, also from The Hive Creative Group, will be part of a panel discussing Social Marketing of abstinence education to teens.

AIM project received a grant of $1.4 million last July to develop a strong marketing campaign that would enable the project to become more visible in the local region. Palo said.

"The goal of the grant is to become self-sufficient by becoming the national marketing leader in abstinence messaging."

The AIM Project works in partnership with Edge Regional Medical Center and Charles Henderson Child Health Center. Funding for these projects is made possible by a grant from the Maternal Child Health Bureau.