Back Up Your Birth Control on New Year’s Day (and Every Day)

Kelli Conlin

Did you know that sales of Emergency Contraception more than double in the days following New Year's Eve? Until a couple of months ago, neither did I.

Did you know that sales of Emergency Contraception more than double in the days following New Year’s Eve?* Until a couple of months ago, neither did I.

But when you think about it, it’s not terribly surprising: people have sex on New Year’s Eve and, as nights go, it’s not always the best one for planning ahead. And the reality is, even under the best of circumstances, condoms can break and pills can be forgotten.

It was therefore very important to the National Institute for Reproductive Health that women have access over the holidays to information about all of their birth control options, including emergency contraception.

To that end, in the week before New Year’s, the National Institute and the Back Up Your Birth Control campaign launched a provocative internet video and text message initiative targeted toward women in their 20s: www.DontDropTheBall.org.

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Don’t Drop The Ball successfully used humor to engage the audience and remind women to think through all of their birth control options before New Year’s Eve by planning ahead, carrying condoms, and having a pack of emergency contraception at home in their medicine cabinet.

Centered on the ever-increasing use of text messages, the video and website spoke to how young women live their lives: via text and online. The hilarious "text to granny" video featured grandmothers hilariously
struggling to understand an over the top text their granddaughters accidentally sent to them — rather than the friend for whom it was intended. It then challenged the audience by asking: "If you could accidentally send a text like that to your grandma, what else can go wrong on New Year’s Eve?"

I was excited to learn that this video stole viewers’ hearts, passing from feminist blog to feminist blog and garnering over 17,000 YouTube views in the space of a week (absent any marketing dollars).

This campaign was important and groundbreaking because – while in a perfect world men and women would use birth control consistently and correctly every time they have sex – sometimes accidents happen. And women need to know that Emergency Contraception (EC) is a safe and effective back up method of birth control. I hope that, thanks to our efforts, over 17,000 more now do!
* stat courtesy of Teva Pharmaceuticals, makers of Plan B One-

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