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The leading sexual wellness brand, Durex, has unveiled what it is calling its first-ever ‘made for India’ innovation with Durex extra-thin flavoured condoms. The Drum speaks to Dilen Gandhi, regional marketing director, South Asia – health & nutrition, Reckitt to know more about the backdrop of this 'glocal' innovation.

In a post-pandemic world, even as the governments and pretty much everyone else keeps insisting on social distancing as the norm, at least one brand is working hard on making couples come together. Here is how and why.

Category truths and Durex’s plans

The category has had a mixed run so far, even as data points that over 60% of condom sales in India are in the flavoured condoms category, the focus has been more on pushing out the flavours and less on product innovation. Durex hopes to change the paradigm by bringing together flavours to its product expertise and superiority of producing thin condoms, shares Dilen Gandhi, regional marketing director, South Asia – health & nutrition, Reckitt.

"At Durex, the goal is to normalize conversations around sex and drive usage of condoms by bringing innovation and people closer, both emotionally and physically", he adds.

Launching the India-first innovation

Reckitt’s latest innovation, Durex extra-thin flavoured condoms is making conversations on #EndBedroomDistancing, and hoping to help consumers break boundaries of imagination.

The new range will be available in three distinct flavours - chocolate, strawberry and bubble gum. This product is a global first launch for Durex focused on bringing in the much-needed intimacy in the bedroom for the Indian consumer.

Brand’s playbook and life beyond TVC 

To push out this anti-social distancing campaign (in the bedroom), Durex has launched an integrated multi-touchpoint campaign ‘#EndBedroomDistancing’, conceptualised by its agency Havas India.

Shares Gandhi, “Social distancing has crept into all our lives, and with this product and campaign, we want people to end distancing in the bedroom.” It is aimed at bringing people closer not just physically but emotionally as well, ending the true distancing, he adds.

The brand launched with a prelude of Indian celebrity influencers to create conversations around the product launch which was followed by the TVC launch.

Talking about the overall creative strategy, Bobby Pawar, chairman & chief creative officer, Havas Group India, says, “In true Durex fashion we did a googly on a current social norm to spark conversations and we also ripped the mask off the distancing that was happening in bedrooms everywhere.”

Once we got people talking on social media about #EndBedroomDistancing we launched the TV spot followed by sustaining the conversation with clever memes and influencer posts, he adds.

 

More firsts beyond the product innovation 

While the product is being pitched as a first of its kind from the Durex stable globally, even in terms of the media used the launch has managed a first of sorts – by being able to advertise with YouTube. Shares Gandhi, “As a category we were unable to advertise on YouTube. We have worked with Google to ensure that this category can reach a lot more people and help spread the message.”

The other first is going regional in terms of the language - beyond English and Hindi only. Going vernacular is natural for the brand adds Gandhi and says, “We see big opportunities outside the big cities and with this innovation we have the opportunity to make a real start.”

Towards that goal, the brand has identified ShareChat, India’s leading social media platform, as a platform that can help it reach audiences in tier two and three cities marking another first for the brand in terms of media innovation.