Durex Film SQUARE by McCann Manchester

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Industry Contraceptives & Pregnancy Tests
Media Film
Market United Kingdom
Agency McCann Manchester
Released June 2000


Epica Awards 2001
The Winners Toiletries & Health Care Winner

Credits & Description

Despite being the brand leader in a number of European markets, Durex was developing a somewhat old-fashioned image, with new consumers rejecting Durex on the grounds that: ‘this was a brand my Dad used’.

Reverse existing brand perceptions and recruit young condom users to the brand.

The core audience was 18 to 24 year olds. However, the creative/media strategy should not alienate older users

The solution was a fully integrated advertising campaign that involved the sponsorship of MTV dance programming together with live dance events, sampling, PR, on-line and other ambient media channels. Recruiting a new and younger audience was vital to the brand’s long-term goals.

Approximately 100 million sperm are released every time a man ejaculates. The line: ‘Durex. For a hundred million reasons’ was based on this simple truth.
Secondly, a young male’s approach to sex is typically one dimensional and unsophisticated. This behaviour was portrayed by a bunch of equally unsophisticated but very focused sperm characters.
Importantly, both sexes were able to recognise male behaviour: vanity, clumsiness, sexual drive and even premature ejaculation. Crucially, in pre-testing, the commercial was not seen as preaching safe sex. Whilst it placed Durex at the centre of the sexual act and offered a reason for using condoms, humour and a sense of the ridiculous ensured that the message did not alienate the audience.

Television sponsorship, press and PR, event organisation/sponsorship, on-line, merchandising, sampling and corporate identity.

Under €5 million

Every month, 20 million young Europeans go clubbing. More again are exposed to dance music and club culture in clothing, commercials, on the radio, in writing and on the screen. MTV was a natural conduit to reach this target. A programme was created which provided:
• Targeted broadcast airtime presence
• Brand association through sponsorship
• True event marketing that allowed merchandise sampling as a way to really connect with the audience

To build the dance association, Durex was the on-air sponsor of MTV ‘Dance Floor Chart’ programming across Europe. It was also taken directly to young clubbers via Durex-sponsored club nights across different European cities, including a showcase party at ‘Privilege’ in Ibiza, the world’s largest club. At live events and relevant public holidays (such as Valentine’s Day) appropriately dressed Sperm Men paraded through towns demanding that Durex be banned.

The durexdance.com site was promoted on the advertising and encouraged visitors to register, through a prize draw. On a city-by-city basis, the site offered information on the local dance scene. At the same time there were hyperlinks to the MTV and Durex.com sites. Content included:
• Global ‘sms’ mobile text messaging
• Personalised music content
• Music streaming
• Downloads: screen savers, wallpapers, viral ad
• Competitions
Agency McCann-Erickson Communications House Ltd
City Macclesfield
Advertiser SSL International
Brand Name Durex
Business Sector Contraceptives & Pregnancy Tests
Country of Production United Kingdom
Language English
Type Television
Creative Director Neil Lancaster, Dave Price
Art Director Dave Price
Copywriter Neil Lancaster
Director Daniel Kleinman
Producer Sarah Clemenson
Account Director Chris Lees
Media Director Mark James
Post Production Smoke & Mirrors Productions Ltd
Actor / Celebrity Dominic Cooper, Cicely Giddings
Advertising Manager Jon Gray, Mark Critchley
Managing Partner Simon Buchanan
PR Director Rob Brown
European Consumer Marketing Director Jon Gray
European Marketing Controller - Durex Mark Critchley