International condom manufacturer Durex, with a presence of about 75 years in India, launched Durex Jeans Cool Blue condoms for the youth in 2009 with the idea of spreading awareness and a better attitude towards responsible sex.
Recently, the brand carried out a range of activities to speak to the youth and involve them as they run a higher risk of contracting AIDS through unsafe sex.
Concluding a month long awareness campaign on safe sex practices as part of the AIDS day awareness theme, Durex Jeans' Grand Finale was the 'Durex Jeans Ride for Safety' bike rally organised in Mumbai on December 26.
The event flagged off from NCPA, Nariman Point and extended to Bandra Band Stand, covering a distance of 11 km. About 150 bikers from motor clubs in Mumbai and Pune participated in the event, with everyone sporting the 'Ride for Safety' message.
As part of another activity in association with Artistaloud.com, Durex also released a song for World AIDS Day on December 1, created by 10 different Indian and international artists.
Cutting across boundaries and breaking language and nationality barriers, the song is dedicated to spreading the message of love and responsible sex. The song can be heard and downloaded from the Durex page on Facebook, 'Love in Jeans'.
Durex also conducted outdoor campaigns in Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru and Pune, where hoardings were put up. Additionally, promotions were carried out at malls and cineplexes, where brochures and leaflets about responsible sex were given out. This was done in about 18 locations in five cities - Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad and Bengaluru. The outdoor activities were supported by advertisements in the print media, too.
The brand has also associated with college fests to target the youth directly. These include the college festival 'Neev' of Symbiosis Pune, which was held on December 10-12; IIT Bombay's 'Mood Indigo' during December 20-23; and the upcoming 'Sarang' of IIT Chennai, to be held on January 25.
In television, Durex joined hands with MTV for a special four week programme covering a range of topics aimed at promoting safe and responsible sex amongst the youth. The show, titled MTV News Special Report Durex Jeans 'It's Your Sex Life', promoted the idea 'the only thing you need to put on is your condom' and kicked off on December 1. The show, featuring Bollywood stars and youth icons such as Anil Kapoor, Akshaye Khanna and Neha Dhupia, concluded on December 28. The participating stars discussed the issues faced by the youth today with the aim of promoting the practice of safe sex and usage of condoms.
Vishal Vyas, group manager, marketing and branding, Durex India believes that India has seen a vast difference in accepting the product. Earlier, there was a lot of hesitation and sex and protection were taboo topics. However, now, the barrier is beginning to break. People are ready to talk about sex and contraception. However, it will take many years for India to be absolutely open about it.
Condom advertising has evolved as well, where it has gone from only 'skin show' to becoming more subtle. "These are now meaningful ads that do not embarrass people while they are watching TV with family." He adds, "Of course we do not want to compromise on the most important part of reaching out to the TG (target group) just in order to make the ad subtle."
For the record, Durex is the global leader in condoms, with a 25 per cent global market share and has been in existence for more than 75 years. In India, Durex is marketed by TTK-LIG, which is a 50:50 joint venture between TTK India and SSL International PLC (UK).
Vyas adds that Durex is a small player in India as it caters only to the upmarket and elite section. "We have seen a continuous growth in the consumer base. The market for Durex is in the Tier I cities. Recently, we have seen a lot of new consumers from smaller towns such as Ranchi, Indore and Jaipur as well," he says.
Going further, the company plans introduce new products to expand the range in India since it still is a potential market for this category. It also plans to tie up with students and create communities that will have volunteers to help spread the message of responsible sex.