Recently, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) took a tough stance on condom brands in the country. TV channels were asked not to air advertisements selling and promoting condoms during prime-time slots, as they are “indecent especially for children” and can create “unhealthy practices” among them. They have been advised to air condom ads only between 10:00 pm and 6:00 am (zombie time).
Just like any other social ban, this too did not go down well with the people of the country. Within few minutes of the ban, Twitter was flooded with tweets of mockery and sarcasm. Several heated discussions and debates have been taking place, both offline and online.
Condoms are one of the key weapons to fight HIV and Aids, but marketing them has to confront many factors such as social taboos and religious objections. While MIB said that condom ads can be “indecent especially for children”, the whole point of marketing is to drive home awareness and get young people to use condoms and have safe sex.
Maybe, MIB’s decision is based on the way condom ads look in our country? Then again, the kind of imagery used by deodorant TVCs is no different.
This move will definitely affect condom marketers. Will they move away their marketing spends from TV? To sustain their goal to create basic awareness, they will have to increase their ad spends on other media platforms.
In terms of value, the segment is worth Rs. 700 crores. 80% of the category spends are on TV. The rest is distributed between digital, OOH, radio and print.
Social media marketing can provide a sound business platform for companies in the condom market. However, today, condom brands want to be seen more than just a condom brand.
Durex’s global senior brand manager Shane Kerr rightly said “In the last 16 years, we’ve really wanted to establish ourselves as a sexual wellbeing brand instead of a condom brand. It’s not just about the physical but the emotional as well.”
One way condom brands such as Moods, Durex, Kamasutra, Manforce, Skore, and Playgard can achieve this is by taking a different approach to marketing. To reach out to a core target audience which includes working couples on their way to start a family, singletons or teenagers who need to be taught valuable lessons about sex, prejudice and intimacy, paper cup advertising is a replaceable option to a dominant medium such as TVCs.
Paper cup ads are personal and up-close and create an emotional bond with the target audience. They give them enough time to read and ponder over the message. Ads on paper cups can be run even during prime time. There are no time restrictions. It is the perfect way to create awareness, differentiate a brand and register in a consumer’s mind away from the clutter.
Today, necessity is the mother of invention. If primetime TV slots have closed down, offline marketing such as paper cup advertising is always there to promote and sell social taboos products like these and break the condom marketing dilemma.