If You're Part of the 'Pleasurati,' There's a Condom for You

Durex Wants to Steal Share Away From No. 1 Trojan by Carving Out Its Own Psychographic

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BATAVIA, Ohio (AdAge.com) -- The folks at condom marketer Durex had an identity problem. Brand leader Trojan was known as the brand men grew up with, the "boy scout" of condoms, if you will, for its preparedness in the wallet. No. 3 LifeStyles brand is associated with the partying lounge lizard. So what's the niche for the No. 2 seller, Durex? Somewhere in between.

Durex ad

Durex's print ad for its new Avanti Bare condom, aimed at the 'Pleasurati.'

"Mature pleasure seeker" is what the Durex and its new shop, Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness, landed on to describe their consumer, or "Pleasurati" for short. The "That's My Pleasure" campaign breaking this month behind national print in titles such as Sports Illustrated and Maxim and online ads seeks to transform a brand, defined in recent years more by its flavored lubricants and sex toys, into a force to be reckoned with in condoms, too.

State of mind
Being part of the Pleasurati is more a state of mind than demographics, said Stephen Mare, Durex brand manager, who said the brand's consumer might be an 18-year-old man or a 42-year-old woman. "Aspects of fun, variety, experimentation equally accessible to both men and women were the sorts of attributes consumers were already associating with Durex," Mr. Mare said. Much of that had to do with products such as vibrating rings the company has been launching under its "Play" sub-brand for the past three years.

Durex was the hands-down leader in the tiny "sexual enhancement devices" category at mass market, with a 54% share of the $10.1 million category in the 52 weeks ended April 19. But its condom share long has been in the mid-teens, compared with more than 70% for Trojan and high single digits for LifeStyles.

The Durex consumer is less likely to be a first-time condom buyer, more experienced, more likely to know exactly what he or she likes in "sexual health" products, more likely to be passionate and deeply involved with their partners, Mr. Mare said. "It's not about a random hookup on a Friday night kind of thing."

The latter territory Durex is more likely to cede to the category's No. 3 brand by sales and No. 2 by brand awareness, Ansell Healthcare's LifeStyles, said Jim Joseph, managing director of Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness.

"As we did our research, when we took a look at Trojan, it's kind of the starter condom," Mr. Joseph said. "It's the condom you use as a teenager. You're a good boy. You protect yourself. You protect your partner. You do what's right. LifeStyles is sort of like being a player, being out there and having a good time. ... The condoms in the fishbowl at the end of the bar.

"We realized we needed a very distinct personality," Mr. Joseph added.

Hopes to reach women
Besides the national print and online buys, Durex will do additional print and ads in health-club locker rooms in New York and Chicago, as research indicates the Pleasurati tend to work out more often than their peers, Mr. Mare said. He's also hoping the Pleasurati include many of the women who make up 40% of category buyers.

Saatchi Wellness, which succeeded longtime Durex agency Fitzgerald, Atlanta, in April following a review, is largely relying on the creative ideas developed in the pitch, Mr. Joseph said, a combination he believes of hitting the right chord from the outset and the need to have a campaign in place quickly to support the launch of Avanti Bare condoms.

That product, made from synthetic rubber isoprene, promises a "next to nothing" feel, Mr. Mare said, and an appeal to the up to 10% of the population with latex allergies or sensitivities.

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