Masti Condoms hit the TV screen with a campaign consisting three TVCs after a decade-long break from the media. The irony is that the brand’s plans and strategy of a grand comeback to the TV screen clashed with the government’s ban on condom advertising during day hours.
The campaign aims to reach viewers in the smaller towns, but with the ban in place, one wonders if the message will be able to reach the target audience as people in small towns don’t tend to watch much TV during late hours.
Commenting on whether the launch was timed with the ban, Amit Kumar Taneja, Deputy Director, Marketing, PSI IPL, said, “No, the campaign is not timed with the ban. The campaign was in the works for some time and it’s breaking at this time is a complete coincidence.”
The ban has definitely caused a decline in eyeballs fetched by the various condom brands as they won’t be allowed to advertise during the hours when TV viewing is at its peak. The broadcasters too are no less hurt with lesser money coming into the pockets.
Taneja said that Masti Condoms is also abiding by the notification on timings for placement of the advertising spots on television.
People are aware of the usage and the benefits of condom in the country, but the only challenge is the adoption rate of condom usage. NFHS 4 indicates a slow adoption rate of condoms. The adoption rate of condoms is 5.6 per cent against 5.2 per cent a decade ago. Despite the burgeoning population, the condom market has shrunk from 2.1 billion pieces in 2014 to 1.8 billion pieces in 2017.
Condoms are still considered as a sign of weakness by many in India. Talking about tackling numerous barriers to adoption of condoms, Taneja said, “The players in the industry should focus efforts on increasing adoption rates of the category. Also, what is communicated through the advertisements should be accorded deep thought.”
When asked if condom brands are doing enough for better adoption of condoms, Taneja said, “While it would not be prudent to comment on the strategy of other brands, there is an opportunity available to grow the category instead of focusing efforts on market share gain. Between 2014 and 2017, Nielsen indicated a fall in category size from 2.1 billion pieces per annum to 1.8 billion pieces. Focusing on category expansion will be a win-win for all.”
In order to increase awareness around condom usage, Masti Condoms has introduced the ‘Man of the Match’ proposition in the campaign conceptualised by Leo Burnett. The campaign has adopted a route different from the currently-aired condom commercials and focuses on consensual contact and equal agency rather than appealing to a primal human need.
“The Masti campaign, through its three TVCs, refrains from objectifying women or from showing sex in a frivolous manner. Instead it depicts equal agency for both the partners as we believe sex is consensual and for the pleasure of both the partners,” added Taneja.
PSI IPL is a subsidiary of Population Services International, a global health organisation with operations in 60-plus countries and with programs targeting malaria, child survival, HIV/AIDS, reproductive health, and diabetes. The organisation provides life-saving products, clinical services, and behaviour change communications that empower the world’s most populous countries to lead healthier lives.
Explaining the whole insight behind the positioning of the ‘Masti Man’, Taneja said, “For us, the ‘Masti Man’ is one who is well-rounded. The positioning, derived from conducting comprehensive research, talks to couples in a progressive relationship. The Masti Man is an all-rounder who not only aces at work but also knows his responsibilities at home and believes in equal agency for his partner. For him, sex is a part of his life and not his entire life. Therefore, this all-rounder Masti Man is no less than a ‘Man of the Match’ for his partner. The commercials not only look at the category in a refreshing manner but also fit well with the ethos of PSI IPL as a company.”
Shankar Narayanan, Managing Director, PSI IPL, points out, “It is worthy to note that two-thirds of India’s population is constituted by Generation Y and Generation Z. With a young population set, there is a large need for contraception education and contraception use. Also, condoms are the only form of contraception that protects against unwanted pregnancies as well as STDs. The high decibel communication efforts by numerous players in the category only reveal a lack of a segmented approach. It is also evident that the currently ruling category communication has not helped grow the market.”
Commenting on if the ban on condom advertising by the government from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm be a hindrance for the creative fraternity, Arjuna Gaur, Executive Creative Director, Leo Burnett India, said, “The recent changes in broadcasting guidelines are just a new creative challenge. It’s happened before with other categories and the industry has always found a way to make it work. This time won’t be any different.”
Speaking about the campaign and its execution, Gaur said, “We wanted to create a platform that would appeal to men in general, so we thought why not leverage India’s favourite pastime – cricket? Hence, we arrived at ‘Man of the Match’, the most identifiable achievement that stands for consistency and performance across age groups and demographics in cricket terms.”
The film has been executed by Prodigious India, Publicis Communications’ in-house, world-class production house.
The company currently markets the following brands: Masti (Condoms), Pearl (Oral Contraceptive Pills), Freedom 5 (Intrauterine Devices), Neutral (Oral Rehydration Solution), Safe Abort (abortion kit of pills) and Freedom Inject (Contraceptive Injection). Additionally, it plans to introduce a host of brands from its international portfolio in the forthcoming months.
Previous campaigns by Masti Condoms:
Client: PSI India Private Limited
Client Team on Research Insights: Shankar Narayanan, Amit Kumar Taneja, Kiran Thejaswi
Brand: Masti Condoms
Creative Agency: Leo Burnett India
Chief Executive Officer, Leo Burnett, South Asia & Publicis Communications India: Saurabh Varma
Chief Creative Officer, Leo Burnett, South Asia: Rajdeepak Das
Chief Strategy Officer, Leo Burnett, South Asia: Dheeraj Sinha
Executive Creative Director: Arjuna Gaur
Creative Team: Karan Singh, Sudhir Das, Biswajit Das, Sandeep Juneja
President – North: Samir Gangahar
Executive Vice President: Saraswathi Laxman
Planning: Pritish Mukherjee
Account management: Alankrita Narula, Anooshka Mathur
Production House: Prodigious
Head – Prodigious India: Vandana Watsa
Producer: Anup Das, Ganesh Iyer
Film Director: Amit Satyaveer Singh
Mediums used: TV, Digital