Trojan is hitting the streets with a grassroots effort called the "Good Vibrations Truck Tour" to promote the Trojan brand's expanding line of vibrators, which are hitting mass merchandisers this year.
The truck, a bright purple affair, matches the color scheme and packaging of the newest Trojan vibrator product, the Twister. It is also intended to look like food vans plying the streets of New York that are all the rage in Manhattan and Brooklyn these days. The van is hitting nightspots in the two boroughs next week to show off the products and do some sex education on the side.
The effort parallels the company's direct-response ads that drive people to the company's www.TrojanVibrations.com Web site, as well as a new Trojan Facebook page devoted to the line of three vibrators, and a "What's Your Vibe" iPad app.
The Good Vibrations van has a food-truck like "vibrator menu," and street teams (the "Good Vibrations Girls") will give away samples and a few of the vibrators. Sexologist Logan Levkoff is also participating. The company is also putting iPads on hand for consumers to take a "What's Your Vibe?" quiz, which will match participants with a Trojan Vibrations product and direct them to the Trojan Vibrations Web site where they can purchase products directly. The first five people for each location who check in at the Trojan Vibrations Facebook page via Facebook Places will win one of three Trojan vibrating products.
A webcast at each location will feature Levkoff conducting "truck-side" interviews with prominent sexual health and relationship personalities for the "Good Vibes LIVE!" webcast, which will be featured on trojanvibrations.com and www.facebook.com/TrojanVibrations.
The van hits New York this coming Thursday in spots like Greenwich Village, the Gaslight in the meat-packing district, Murray Hill, St. Mark's Place, the Lower East Side, and a concert at the Williamsburg waterfront featuring They Might be Giants.
Bruce Weiss, VP of marketing, tells Marketing Daily that Trojan, a division of Princeton, N.J.-based Church & Dwight, Inc., launched its first vibrator in 2005, and started doing direct-response TV ads last year.
"We now have three vibrators this year," he says, adding that the company has also taken the product out of its traditional retail home in brick-and-mortar adult stores to a broader stage. "The great news is we have launched them in the drug and mass merchandising channel so we are mainstreaming the whole conversation; it's a big step." The vibrators are stocked next to condoms and the family planning section of stores.
Weiss says direct-response ads are helping store sales. "With our direct-response ads you can buy the products right there, or online, but it is helping build awareness as well, so that is helping lift mainstream retail sales."
Weiss says the product benefits from the brand name, which he says plays very well to men and women, "because couples are familiar with our condoms, we have a big advantage in brand name. It's a billion-dollar category; about half of Americans have used a vibrator in their lifetime. But when you look at it there are not a lot of recognized brands."
Interestingly, perhaps, both men and women buy the product, with men buying them as gifts and for couple use. "About 50% of usage is with a partner, so that's a key thing in the conversation," says Weiss. "If you look at our ads, we talk in terms of the products being good for couples as part of a normal sex life."
Per company stats, 53% of women and 45% of men between the ages of 18 and 60 have used a vibrator during sexual interaction; 93% of women who have used vibrators agreed that vibrators are part of a healthy sex life; 80% of women who have used a vibrator have used it with their partner; 44% of men have incorporated a vibrator into sexual activities during their lives, with no statistical differences between the rates of vibrator use between men who identified as heterosexual and those who identified as gay or bisexual.