Can Premature Ejaculation Be the New Erectile Dysfunction? K-Y Bets It Can With Duration Spray

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Can PE be the new ED? RB is hoping it can with a new product line from K-Y.

The marketer formerly known as Reckitt Benckiser is launching K-Y Duration Spray for Men with a risqué campaign from Havas and Marina Maher Communications for a product designed to thwart premature ejaculation (PE), which RB says is a more common if less debilitating than erectile dysfunction (ED).

TV ads set to break next week show men who no longer have to think about baseball or their grandmothers in the heat of action to avoid concluding sexual encounters too soon.

An online video from MMC, "The PE Challenge," shows men approached on the street by women to talk about premature ejaculation -- earning prizes depending on how loudly they proclaim amid Manhattan passersby that they have the problem.

And an outdoor campaign from Havas tailored to such places as Las Vegas or New York subways, tunnels and taxis. A Las Vegas billboard will promise to help men "Last longer than a Las Vegas marriage." Ads for New York subways and taxi TV's will include such lines as "Don't get off too soon," or "Arrive on time." And one RB hopes to put near the entrance of the Lincoln Tunnel makes a play on stopping and starting, one of the techniques the company has found men use to avoid PE.

New York transit ad for K-Y Duration Spray.
New York transit ad for K-Y Duration Spray. Credit: RB

Research by K-Y found 89% of men say they'd like to "last longer," while more than 80% say they've used such tricks as stopping and starting or changing positions to do so. A smaller proportion -- 40% say they've thought about baseball, while 24% say they've tried thinking about an elderly woman such as their grandmother to delay orgasm.

Duration Spray is the biggest initiative to come from K-Y since RB bought the brand from Johnson & Johnson nearly two years ago, said Chris Tedesco, general manager-U.S. marketing for RB. It's part of a strategy to position the brand more broadly.

"We have some quite ambitious plans and strategies for K-Y and how we can transform it from more of a simple sexual-lubricant brand to more of a sexual-health brand," Mr. Tedesco said.

K-Y Duration is really about making sex more satisfying for men and women alike, given that the brand's research shows 81% of couples say it's important to the closeness of their relationship to climax together. But men have a tendency to finish before women, Mr. Tedesco said, and the spray is about helping couples "close the orgasm gap," he said.

PE as a "diagnosed condition" affects a relatively small proportion of the population, he said. "But the desire to last longer" affects the vast majority of men, he said, "so we saw it as a significant need for men, but also for couples."

While there are some other lubricants and products on the market aimed at helping men last longer, Mr. Tedesco said, "There really hasn't been any other brands that have taken a mass-market approach to launching a product of this nature."

Indeed, the nature of the product does affect the mass-ness of the marketing, with ads likely needing to be limited to late night. But Mr. Tedesco believes it will be possible to get display and support in mass retailers.

"We saw this as an opportunity to really bring this to the masses and normalize the conversation around men wanting to last longer," he said.

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