Risqué Marketing

Although this is not a new ad, I have to comment on this awesome condom TV commercial for Trojan FIRE & ICE® I saw this weekend while watching a chick flick.  The premise was genius!  The ad adeptly communicated the key the product’s features and benefits (you can figure out what that implies without my help!!!).  It ends with the very witty tagline “You can’t wait to get it on”.    This smart execution is part of a multi-year campaign created by Church & Dwight’s U.S ad agency, The Joey Company, and has run since 2009. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tQf9wQYrT9Q

There are literally dozens of brands that have and continue to rely on sexual imagery to draw attention to their products. One of the most memorable and controversial ads in fashion history is the 1980’s Calvin Klein Jeans campaign, starring actress Brooke Shields, who asked “You wanna know what comes between me and my Calvins? Nothing.”  At the time, the campaign was viewed as controversial because the ads were too sexually provocative and Shields was just 15 years old.  www.youtube.com/watch?v=YK2VZgJ4AoM.  Despite the criticism, the campaign sold a lot of jeans. And more recently, Viagra humourously used a jingle themed à la Elvis Presley to sing the praises of their product and a solution for erectile dysfunction.

Most consumers  are very aware that using sex or sexual appeal is an effective tool for selling.  It may grab people’s attention but does it increase sales at the cash register?  According to Church & Dwight the answer is “Yes”.  In 2011,  Trojan Condom brands enjoyed a 70% market share of the  prophylactic industry world-wide.

There are certainly a lot of cultural and social challenges marketing products considered by some as taboo or too risqué. It all comes down to subtlety and strong execution. One distinct feature for Trojan’s success is their strong marketing strategies. They deliver smart, impactful, brand-centric ideas and executions that resonate with consumers. The end result makes a serious subject such as sexually transmitted disease and unwanted pregnancy  more approachable. Trojan and their agency got it right.


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