Durex Makes Having Sex A Charitable Act (Sorta)


Consumers tend to like fundraisers that are enjoyable experiences. The folks at Durex condom hope that extends to having sex using their brand.

Durex is teaming with Red, a nonprofit that enlists brands to partner on anti-AIDS efforts, and introducing Durex Red, available for sale Monday at Amazon and Target.

“The condom is the first Red product that directly helps protect against HIV and other STIs,” the company notes in marketing materials. 

Durex is donating a portion from each sale of the new condoms to Keeping Girls In School, a South African program that tries to reduce new HIV infections and pregnancies among young women by encouraging girls to remain in educational programs, and by improving access to sexual health and reproductive services.

HIV is a particularly acute problem in South Africa now, where the company says 7.2 million people are currently living with HIV.1.

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A new YouTube video features Swedish singer Zara Larsson and other influencers from YouTube and elsewhere doing quick takes using a particularly flexible four-letter word -- one that makes sense to this promotion, “Give a (bleep).” The YouTube video comes with a bad-language advisory, and variants of the f-word are bleeped throughout. The campaign is using the #GAF hashtag on social media.

The online-only campaign, produced by London-based Freud Communications, is called “Have Sex and Save Lives.”  It also features Emmy-Award-winning actor Thandie Newton, Broadway star Javier Muñoz, comedian and singer Phoebe Robinson, YouTube star Tyler Oakley, singer and actor Jacob Latimore and actor Christian Navarro.

The marketing campaign is timed to crescendo in time for World AIDS Day on Dec. 1.

The condom maker, which claims to be “the world’s number one condom brand,” is a unit of RB, the Reckitt Benckiser Group.

Last year Durex also aired advertising warning about STDs, and a Truth or Dare campaign in which university students debunked myths about safe sex.

“This meaningful partnership between Durex and RED)® stands for the responsibility we all have, as individuals and organizations, to join the fight against HIV and AIDS around the world,” said Nadja Körner, RB’s marketing director for sexual wellbeing.

An unusual wrinkle in this cause-oriented campaign is that Durex announced just how big its per-unit contribution will be. It said 84 cents from every purchase of a package containing 42 condoms, or 35 cents per a 12-count package, will go directly to the Keeping Girls In School program.

RB is pledging at least $5 million from the campaign — but whatever the total, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will match it.

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