Depicting the Awkward in Life

Humor as a gateway to better health

My favorite all-time comedian has to be George Carlin. Why? He told the truth and made us laugh by seeing ourselves in the fun-house mirror he held up during his routines. The first serious thought I ever gave to language, words, and meaning was because of Carlin’s famous “Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television.”

I like to think that the birth control support network takes the George Carlin approach to birth control in that it uses humor to shine light on some universal truths in reproductive health. For instance, our first series of public service announcements (PSAs), reminds us that we often have sexual experiences that are sometimes so bad they’re funny and a recent Fact or Fiction video depicts the things we do for love (tattoos, waxing, piercings, etc.).

Our brand-new Bedsider PSAs also use humor in depicting the often-awkward conversations we have about birth control. By depicting how awkward it can be to engage in a conversation about birth control we think our audience of 18-29-year-olds will likely let out a knowing laugh and seek out a way to make it less awkward by visiting

The PSAs, which began airing in December, were produced in partnership with the Ad Council and BET Networks. The new ads ran exclusively on that network until mid-January and a national run began soon after. BET Networks has also made a one year, $5 million commitment to support the co-branded PSAs by placing the work during relevant programming. [Early returns show that smart placement makes a huge difference—but that’s a tale for another day.]

Luckily, you don’t have to sit by your TV waiting for the next episode of Being Mary Jane to air in order to see the ads. Just click the play button above or head on over to Bedsider’s page on YouTube to see the whole series.

This piece was originally posted on “Pregnant Pause,” the blog of The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. Some updates have been made to the original post.