Safe Spending

The video begins with a tight shot of a young man unrolling a pesky condom. Cheesy lounge music plays. Soon the condom is ready for business.

First he stuffs a credit card in the pliable prophylactic.

Then some folding money.

Then he jams them all back into his wallet. Which he puts into yet another condom before shoving it into his jeans pocket.

One can never be too safe with spending.

Angel Ho, a ph'd candidate at Penn's Annenberg School of Communications, said the idea for her video came naturally.

A group was promoting awareness of debt disease with a contest called "Keep It In Your Pants."

So why not create a public service announcement in which financially cautious students wrap their credit cards in condoms?

She's one of five finalists in the competition. Tuesday night in Charlotte she finds out of she's won the $5,000 top prize.

The contest, sponsored by the Service Employees International Union, was open to students age 14 and older. She has a bit of an edge, having created this sort of message in her public service announcement class at Annenberg. In fact, four of the students in the class joined the 20 semi-finalists.

But hers alone made the cut.

She cast the video with a friend from school, Andrew Crocco. "If I had to pick someone to play a regular college dude, he fits the bill best, I think."

While she applied lessons learned in grad school, her video was also fuel by personal experience.

"I personally have never have wrapped my own credit card, but I don’t have a lot of money and most of us don't," said the 23-year-old from Cleveland. "I do actually have several friends who are thousands and thousands of dollar in credit card debt. While it's fantastic, trying to limit excessive or superficial or I guess unnecessary credit card use, maybe it's telling of a larger problem of how our system is for young people today."

If the next contest is about the rising cost of college, they're gonna need a much bigger condom.


She won! Here's the link.