Aishwarya Ramesh

Durex adds fruity punch with flavoured condoms

Durex has forayed into the flavoured condom segment with a TVC announcing the launch of three new flavours — bubble gum, wild berry and vanilla popsicle. The run-up to the TVC launch featured social media content created around the Durex Global Sex Survey conducted in India in 2017 — the survey revealed, nearly 74 per cent of Indians want to try something new in bed. However, surprisingly, only 24 per cent of people feel that love-making is not boring. Sex is considered boring for a large segment of consumers who are now looking for excitement and are willing to experiment with their partners.

Below is the tweet talking about the research that this campaign was based on.

Pankaj Duhan, chief marketing officer, RB South Asia Health said, “We are thrilled to announce a new set of flavours — bubble gum, wild berry and vanilla popsicle — to empower people to bring their fantasies alive. This is the first time Durex has ventured into the flavoured segment, and our aim is to broaden the portfolio and increase brand reach by talking it to a larger audience set. This range is designed to appeal to the youth, especially 18-24 years old. It also makes Durex more accessible at Rs 150 for a pack of 10 condoms and a pack of 3 for INR 50. We hope to declutter the flavoured condom market and un-bore consumer’s sexual experiences by taking them places.”

The campaign titled #GoPlaces will be available across all digital, social and TV channels. We spoke to Carlton D’Silva, chief executive officer of Hungama Digital Services, opines “The two hashtags (#SexisBoring & #GoPlaces) never did meet. That to me is a rookie mistake and not a very well thought through piece of communication. This is not a benchmark for how we consume digital content today.”

Carlton D'Silva
Carlton D'Silva

He points out that the statistic used in the campaign is a dated one and doesn’t necessarily translate to ‘sex is boring.’ “I’m presuming the brand wanted to play on that fact, and somehow correlate the fun bit with the product, but it just did not connect well with me. I would equate that statistic with people wanting to be a lot more adventurous than finding sex boring.”

Commenting on the influencer-led marketing for the campaign, he mentions, they are best used when the connection is symbiotic in nature. “People follow influencers because of who they are. The moment a brand association is not symbiotic in nature the consumer knows that it’s a forced association and the money spent on the communication is pretty much wasted. The follower might consume the content but will most often never be acted upon,” he says.

D’Silva says that the digital medium is the best place to have these conversations as Indians are a more reserved bunch and would be more likely to be open to conversations from behind a screen.

Prathap Suthan, managing partner and chief creative officer at Bang In The Middle, points out, “The digital campaign is an effort to inject more fun into the massive boredom that seems to have occupied the Indian bedroom. I interpreted the Twitter campaign as bits and pieces urging people to pep up their sex lives. By asking them to try new things, indulge in remote foreplay, etc. It was pretty broad in the overall communication and not entirely focussed to launch a campaign that was all about scuttling the boredom. Hashtags don’t count much if the content isn’t sharp.”

Prathap Suthan
Prathap Suthan

“The TV campaign about flavours, seems to be more about pushing for impromptu, impulsive, and promiscuous sex, from a communication perspective. I am sure all TVCs will have their digital life as well. Personally, I think the digital campaign and the TV campaign are divorcees. They really aren’t connected,” he thinks.

“The Mile High Club being the place they seem to recommend. I am not sure if flavours play a part in these business-class escapades. This behaviour could happen without flavours as well. And this Tinder-driven, innuendo-sauced quickies happen among the younger urban lot. Unless I am reading this all wrong. Where the new Durex product is a discreet stick of flavoured chewing gum that can be instantly chewed and blown into prophylactic action when an opportunity comes up in the sky, sea, and earth,” he remarks.

Suthan believes that while there may be hundreds of ways to use influencers, the best way ought to be in sync with the idea that drives the campaign, and there cannot be any templates.

“Digital allows for all sorts of conversations, especially the steamy kind. I would have loved it if they pushed this campaign into very interesting areas. And there’s so much potential, considering that people spend hours of their days and nights with their phones,” he says.

Earlier this year, Durex ran a campaign, crafted by Havas titled #OrgasmInequality, advertising its new condoms — Mutual Climax. The basis of this campaign was that 70 per cent of women in India don't always have an orgasm during sex and fake it most of the time.

This campaign, too, was an influencer-led campaign meant to spark conversations on a conventionally "taboo" topic.

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