A young girl is seen going around her house, tearing up pieces of tape, and sticking things together.
Her door bell rings and she rushes to open the door. Her boyfriend is on his knees frantically picking things up and, among his belongings are some condoms. The girl shrugs her shoulders sheepishly and it appears she has been hiding condoms all over the house in anticipation that they might need it later.
I found the ad very well done. Without being overtly sexual, it effectively highlights the message that couples do not want to be caught in a situation where they find themselves without protection. I think Singapore needs to find a way to allow condom-makers to advertise their products in a fun and non-judgemental way. The rare times when we do see an ad about condoms, it’s always scientific and unsexy, talking about the thinness of the material, how it’ll be comfortable for the couple, how we can hardly feel it there … but examples around the world have shown that you can approach this in a myriad of creative ways.
There is an even more important message why we need to allow more creative condom advertising: it removes the stigma of women buying condoms. In my previous job, I was told that a certain health body wanted to promote the message that it’s not “shameful” or “embarrassing” for women to take the initiative to buy condoms. When a woman needs to buy condoms, she often does it by going into the supermarket, fills a basket with groceries she may or may not need, then at the counter, quickly throws a 3-pack box into the mix.
I’ve seen the looks on people’s faces whenever I go into a convenience store just to buy condoms. They were probably thinking, “Shouldn’t she just buy something else to ‘hide’ it?”. But to me, buying condoms is like buying Panadols. I buy Panadols because I know I have monthly migraines and period pains to cope with. I buy condoms because I want to prevent an unplanned pregnancy. We women need to take control of our reproductive rights and if taking something like The Pill is something you won’t consider, then why shouldn’t you take the proactive approach to contraception and buy condoms yourself?
Perhaps, after watching these ads, you might be more receptive to the idea of buying your own condoms.
[Note: I tried to find the Durex ad I saw in Seoul … but unfortunately, I couldn’t.]
Get In On
A creative, funny, lovable way to interpret what “rubber” can do!
Save Your Date
A fantastic app by Durex that delivers you condoms when you need it most
A Million Different Reasons
Starring the then very fresh-face Dominic Cooper!!! Swooooon …
For a balloon that doesn’t burst ….
Where men go the extra distance to deliver a good time
The Closer We Get
Best use of a small car … ever
About The Author: Deborah Tan is a founder of Material World. After 10 years of working in magazines Cleo and Cosmopolitan Singapore, she is now a freelance writer/editor who works on this website full-time. She likes liquid eyeliners, bright red lipsticks, tattoos, rock & roll, Mad Men, Suits, and wishes that there are more funny, creative TV commercials that push the boundaries … Follow her on Twitter @DebTanTweets.
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