Conceptualised by Havas Worldwide India, RB India pulled off a brilliant marketing stunt with Durex Jeans. BestMediaInfo.com speaks to industry experts to find out whether the teaser campaign will work
Roshni Nair | Mumbai | March 30, 2017
When Durex came out with a teaser starring Ranveer Singh about launching jeans, everyone started losing their mind. Questions like why a condom brand would venture into the apparels category started doing the rounds of the internet, spurring discussions and debates.
While some mocked the idea, there were others who predicted it to be the marketing stunt that it was. To the brand’s credit they did not slip up and kept up the “launching jeans” charade even when doubts were raised about the campaign being genuine.
Finally, the brand unveiled Durex Jeans – the ‘new age’ condom from the brand. Targeted for youngsters and first timers in the age group of 18-25 years, the product will come in a pack of two and will apparently be packed in ‘world’s slimmest pocket pack’, making it easier for people to carry them around in their jeans or pant pockets and hence the name ‘Durex Jeans’.
Revealing the genesis of the idea, Rohit Jindal, Marketing Director at Reckitt Benckiser (RB) India, said, “The idea was generated in a group discussion between the agency and client. The question was how do we create excitement and noise in the market when we launch Durex Jeans? We also took inspiration from our eggplant flavour hoax campaign which created excitement last year for RB Global.”
The teaser film has Ranveer Singh announcing that Durex is launching jeans and that he will be the first one to try it on. We then see him vanishing inside a changing room and saying that it fits well!
The launch campaign that was released 48 hours after the teaser video has Ranveer making arrangement in his house by fixing everything that shakes. As he is fixing everything from tables to rooftop, the doorbell rings. This is when we see a girl who has spilled the contents of her bag outside his house and who has packets of ‘Durex Jeans’. The spot ends with the message that the packets can fit one’s pockets easily.
“Youth is curious and experimental. Durex Jeans is an effort to have a conversation with them around safe sex. Our campaign purpose is to have fun with the category and induce conversation around the use of condoms. Our brand ambassador Ranveer Singh is youthful and an adventurous youth icon and the perfect endorser of Durex. The pre-launch announcement with Ranveer has received an overwhelming response,” said Jindal.
Nima Namchu, Chief Creative Officer, Havas Worldwide India, said, “This is an exciting category but also a challenging one as a lot of memorable work has already been done before. Fortunately, the brand name and the format in which the product is available made the job a lot easier for the team. This was an integrated approach in the true sense of the word – the client, an integrated creative team of copywriters, digital creatives, art directors, PR executives and the media agency working intensely as one tight unit to make the launch of Durex Jeans a resounding success.”
Condoms are, just like sex, still a taboo subject in India. Condoms have traditionally been targeted at married couples and promoted as a family planning device but brands have started targeting the youth and initiating conversations around safe sex.
“Durex Jeans is an effort to have a conversation with the youth around safe sex. It aims to instigate safe sex among the youth by removing the taboo around the condom purchase in India while establishing itself as a youthful condom brand,” said Jindal.
According to Jindal, the current market share of RB in the condom market is 9 per cent, between Durex and Kohinoor.
“RB is the third largest player in the category in India. With our renewed focus on India, we aim to gradually have 50 per cent market share in India by 2020,” said Jindal.
Commenting on the condom market, Jindal said, “Presently, condom market in India is in its nascent stage. Condom penetration is currently at 6 per cent, and there is a lot of untapped potential for all the players. Healthy competition is good for market expansion and introduction of better products. We believe in creating awareness about the category and related products leading to increase in demand.”
Peer views: The jury is out
While the marketing stunt created quite a buzz, what did the industry think about it and will it translate into sales? BestMediaInfo.com spoke to a few industry experts to find out.
“Durex’s idea of calling its premium condoms Jeans is interesting and can be more than just a gimmick. Will it help improve the sales of their condoms? Premium branded condom sales in India have traditionally been affected by subsidised condoms, Nirodh, etc. So, non-subsidised brands have had to go the route of titillation – from KamaSutra to now Durex and million other imported brands. The Jeans idea is interesting because it links to the idea of carrying a condom in the back pocket of your jeans, to be always prepared. Whether it gets more and more young boys and girls to adopt condom usage remains to be seen. There is of course a bigger message of ‘safe sex’ and if Durex Jeans is about carrying a condom in a convenient way so that sex is always safe, it is a message that we should all welcome,” said MG Parameswaran, Brand Strategist & Founder, Brand-Building.com.
“The new strategy of Durex reminds me of the Charms cigarette strategy of using a jeans motif as the packaging design. For its times Charms was a winner. We need to see if Durex Jeans will replicate the Charms Jeans magic,” added Parameswaran.
Saurabh Uboweja, Brand Guru and CEO, Brands of Desire, thinks the idea behind the campaign is intelligent but the core message is lost on account of the hype surrounding it.
“The campaign idea is intelligent and Ranveer Singh proves to be a credible brand ambassador. However, the campaign just falls short of communicating the value proposition clearly. Initially it comes out that Durex has launched a new variant of condoms in the disguise of branded jeans but in reality it is simply a packaging variant of an existing product. The core message somehow gets lost in the razzmatazz of the campaign,” said Uboweja.
He also feels that further communication will be needed if the brand wants to translate the buzz surrounding the campaign into sales.
Seconding his view, Santosh Desai, MD and CEO, Futurebrands India, said, “I think the campaign did focus the attention on the brand. Beyond that it is a little difficult to see this as a long-term sustainable proposition in a real sense.”
Prabhakar Mundkur, Chief Mentor, HGS Interactive, felt that the ad misled consumers.
“As a teaser it did a good job of gaining a large share of attention for the brand. But I also feel that it sort of misled consumers. When you finally found out what it was, it kind of fell flat. It did hype up my expectation and then it was an anti-climax, no pun intended,” said Mundkur.
Agency: Havas Worldwide