Wednesday, January 14th, 2009...
that’s how you get it on
A few months ago I’d written a post called How Not To Use Condoms, about the misstep of Trojan’s “Evolve” campaign.
Here, then, is Durex’s take on how to advertise condoms, courtesy of Fitzgerald & Co:
And I’d actually been planning a more substantial entry to be the first post of 2009, but when I came across this last night, I couldn’t not write about it. I think the ad is brilliant in SO many ways, and the difference between Trojan’s “Evolve” and Durex’s “Get It On” approaches to marketing condoms could not be more glaring.
It’s more than just that the tag-line “Get it on” is a damn clever double entendre (in one smooth maneuver intimating that getting *it* on, and getting a condom on, actually mean the same thing!) whereas “Evolve,” as I’d written before, aligns condoms with a phenomenon that half of Americans are in opposition to (aka: Evolution)…. It’s that this is SERIOUSLY funny!
I didn’t even realize it until I saw the Get it On ad, but Evolve is really quite humorless, isn’t it? Granted it’s hard to be funny when you’re dealing with STD’s–and, to be fair, the Evolve radio spots do manage a bit of wit in dealing with the subject. With Durex, though, funny is the key.
Both brands are trying to un-taboo their product. One of the specific goals of the Evolve campaing is, in fact, to get all of us to be more open about the topic of sexual health. But while Trojan stakes out Public Service Announcement territory, Durex is going about it in a way that I guess can be described as tongue-in-cheek porn. Of course, the dire gravity of the sexual health crisis truly cannot be underestimated, and perhaps this is why the feat of being able to position sexual responsibility–which is what condoms stand for, basically–in the context of playfulness and silliness and…..naughty condom-balloon animals, is that much more significant.
Humor makes the subject infinitely less taboo than invoking Evolution, and not only that, but it makes it more resonant too. After all, despite however it is you feel about the process of natural selection, if you get what the naughty balloon animals are up to, then the ad is speaking to you.
(P.S. Whoever did the sound design for this spot should seriously get some kind of award.)