These are names of flavours under the Durex Kohinoor range of condoms. We spoke to Pankaj Duhan, marketing director, RB Health, South Asia, about the campaign and brand research around it.
The flavoured condom market in India seems to be overrun due to high demand from consumers. The category is primarily dominated by Manforce followed by other popular brands which include Moods, Skore, Kamasutra, et al offering a range of flavours such as chocolate, coffee, grapes, strawberry, jasmine and many more. Manforce launched 'achaari' flavoured condoms last years. Out of these, however, chocolate and strawberry are the most popular among the consumers.
Following the trend, Durex, a condom brand from the house of Reckitt Benckiser (RB) Group, announced its entry into the segment with '#IshqKeLakhonRang' campaign under the flagship of Durex Kohinoor. The brand launched four new flavours - Meetha Pan, Kaala Khatta, Silky Chocolate and Juicy Strawberry all developed keeping the Indian tastes and preferences in mind.
In terms of the overall sale of condoms in India, 79 per cent constitute flavoured condoms. Hence, by penetrating this segment, Durex attempts to hit the sweet spot. The new pack will be priced at Rs 90 for a pack of 10 condoms and will be available online as well as at physical stores across the country.
But before zeroing on to the four flavours, the brand conducted a sex survey which revealed that 38 per cent individuals indulge in role-playing and that Indians are seeking a variety in their sexual relationships. The survey also revealed that one in four individuals indulge in extra-marital sexual relations which indicates a troubling trend of marital infidelities. One of the main reasons for individuals to do so is their desire to fulfil certain fantasies.
Durex Global Sex Survery 2017 Report
Talking about the initiative, Pankaj Duhan, marketing director, RB Health-South Asia, says, "Durex conducts sex surveys globally every year. In India, we wanted to do it on a bigger level because it is a stigmatized category and people don't want to talk about it or are very shy. Hence, this survey was conducted to understand consumers better and serve them better."
He adds, "The survey was conducted online as well as offline. During the study, we found some amazing insights, for example, 95 per cent of Indians do not use condoms and we already have a huge population. This is an alarming situation!"
Also, through its newly-launched flavoured condoms range the brand paves the way for individuals to elevate their sexual experience with their existing partners by indulging in 'Faithful Promiscuity'.
"When we indulged into the perception side of it, we found out that a lot of people actually fantasise about different things and that heightens their adventurous/ playful side of sex - this makes sex a lot more enjoyable. Actually, 38 per cent of people would like to indulge in role-playing. Hence, the idea of 'Ishq Ke Lakhon Rang' was born and we decided to launch Durex Kohinoor condoms in four different flavours," says Duhan.
This was translated into the creative brief and the brand told the team at Havas that Indian couples want to experiment with their sexual lives. The brand wanted experimentation to be the central aspect of the campaign.
"Havas came up with the idea of 'Ishq Ke Lakhon Rang', which was centred around role-play. It was all about faithful promiscuity. You don't have to be promiscuous to have variety in your life. You can indulgence in role-play and fulfil your fantasies while being faithful. We all liked this concept," says Duhan.
The TVCs have been directed by Maneesh Sharma of Sniper Films, while the background score has been created by famous Bollywood composer Sameeruddin.
Durex launched an interesting social media campaign before the new flavours were announced. The brand launched the '#MainAurMeriFantasy' campaign that offers viewers a glimpse into real-life sexual fantasies of Indians. Durex also roped in Sexpert, Dr Mahender Watsa, who took over the brand's social media handle to answer queries related to sexual fantasies from the online audience. As part of the campaign, the official Twitter page of the brand posted a series of confessional videos (re-enactments) where people spoke about their sexual escapades.
We asked Duhan, why the brand chose Twitter as a platform to launch '#MainAurMeriFantasy' campaign? "We wanted to build a conversation. We don't want it to be a one-way message delivery system. That's not what the brand is all about. It's a dialogue that's going on because we believe conversations impact behaviour. So, the kind of reach that Twitter has, it was an ideal platform for us to build the conversation with consumers," replies Duhan.
Aiming to Trap Market
The RB Group is very serious about the Indian market and its consumers. Previously, it launched an ad film for DurexAir condoms, which they positioned as a product that will guarantee 'full satisfaction' to users. Now, two TVCs have been launched as part of the '#IshqKeLakhonRang' campaign, and there will be more coming up at different phases in the near future. Through this campaign, Durex is not just looking at the share growth, rather, the brand aims to address a bigger purpose i.e. make people talk about sex and make it part of the larger conversation.
"Whenever we do any such campaigns, we keep in mind how the category conversation is going on. When we launched Durex Condoms' commercials we registered an increase in online search results for condoms by 30%. So, as we start talking about the fantasies, it's not only about sex; we will destigmatize the category and move it forward," says Duhan, further adding, "The idea is about faithful promiscuity. That's the whole idea behind the campaign. The insights that we got from the survey are going to be used for framing our innovation plans."
The brand tested more than a dozen flavours by taking them to the consumers and among them, the final four were shortlisted. "We are very confident that as we launch the new flavours, the product diversification will actually change the game," says Duhan.
As part of the strategy, '#IshqKeLakhonRang' will have a very strong digital leg while TVCs will be aired pan-India. It will be done in seven different languages as well. The campaign will also have a very strong in-store component.
Also, considering the new ruling that allows TV channels to air condom advertisements only between 10:00 pm and 6:00 am, the brand's strategy to launch '#MainAurMeriFantasy' on Twitter, can be considered a smart way to remain connected with its audience.
We asked the experts if the current communication would be accepted by those who have a problem with condom ads or talking about sex in the first place? And will it help the sales grow further?
According to Anusheela Saha, group creative director, FCB Ulka, fantasies are an integral part of our sexuality and the act of role-playing is not uncommon for those couples who like to push the envelope. "It's commendable the way the ad pulls it off, especially where the woman fantasizes about the man as a typical Hindi Cinema 'Bad Boy'! It's sensual and funny," she says.
Further, Saha says, "India has witnessed many flavoured condoms ads before, however, I find the intrinsically Indian flavour concepts of Meetha Paan and Kala Khatta, the idea of #IshqKeLakhonRang, with the nuance of role-playing between a husband and a wife, very fresh. It cuts clutter in this category."
She, however, maintains, "Whether the piece of work will help sales grow or not, is something I can't comment on, but it definitely stands out as a piece in this category."
Upasana Roy, head of strategy, India - Digitas, says, "The concept is true to the intelligent wit that Durex is often associated with. The music and the execution style provide that certain element of the Desi quirk which will further bolster brand recall. But whether our consumer will adopt this 'desi twist' is debatable, especially because the communication strategy appears to be talking to a matured consumer group with evolved urban lifestyles. The question is not so much about whether India is ready for such flavoured condoms; the real question is whether India (and all of India) is ready to talk about sex."
Roy adds, "The communication strategy and creative demonstration mostly cater to the sensibilities of an evolved urban audience: the premium urban setting with experimental outlook towards sex and the appreciation of the aesthetic representation of the 'desi' quirk or flavours, whatever we choose to call it; all of these would work as a method to strengthen the existing consumer base and brand recall, but not really an expansion plan that will allow new users to easily enter the category."
Following are the digital films launched as part of the #MainAurMeriFantasy campaign: