Condoms occupy a unique space between consumer good and public health measure, and as a consequence, ads for condoms can be dichotomously capitalistic and PSA. Here are my votes for the best and worst condom adverts.
Graffiti, by AIDES
AIDES, the premier organization in France concerning HIV/AIDS awareness, prevention, discrimination, and stigma, put out this hilarious video ad in 2010. The notorious public bathroom dick drawing comes to life, moving stall to stall trying to have sex with all the pussy graffiti, who all run and hide in fright at the sight of him. After falling in the toilet, the limp and defeated penis slugs along to the sink, where a woman applying eye liner in the mirror draws a condom on him with her eye pencil, and suddenly, hundreds of vulva graffiti come running out from their hiding places and enthusiastically fuck the shit out of him.
Gold stars for being so clever, humorous, and for demonstrating a sex-positive, celebratory view of sex with the message that condoms are appealing, and can be the difference between no sex, and a hot dirty bathroom orgy. Or something like that.
Get It On, by DUREX
Condom balloon animals, one pink and one blue, go at it in a variety of positions and sex acts- doggie style, missionary, 69, reverse cowgirl, while their rubber bodies squeak in this 2008 ad. An orange condom balloon animal starts watching, and in the next scene joins in on the actions- double penetration on the pink balloon, blue man in the middle position, until they all pass out from exhaustion.
I love this ad for so many reasons- it’s comical, it features actual condoms prominently in an unintimidating way, it emphases that safe sex can be fun and adventurous, and with the threesome, the gender-nonspecific orange balloon, and the blue balloon getting it up the butt, it also represents some aspects of human sexuality that don’t often get mainstream airtime.
Really Big, by DUREX
This 2007 print ad for Durex’s XXL size condoms features a close up of a beautiful woman’s lips with bandages on both corners of her mouth, and the words “really big…”
I don’t get it. What’s supposed to be the funny part- the imagery of violence against women part, or the part about having a penis too big to actually use with a partner without giving them second degree lacerations? Call me a party pooper, but I don’t think face fucking someone until you rip their mouth open is funny. And I’m kind of disturbed that DUREX does…
Charlie Sheen, LELO HEX
Lelo, a brand that has become wealthy by selling extremely expensive $200+ vibrators to women, just this month launched a crowdsourcing campaign seeking money for a condom line, and they chose as their advertising spokesman none other than Charlie Sheen. The one who has a 30 year history of beating his wives and threatening his girlfriends with knives to their throats- that Charlie Sheen. Tons of formally loyal LELO customers were not impressed with the tone deaf choice of a company with a primarily female client base, and threatened boycott, but LELO has insisted in the face of the criticism that Charlie Sheen is the “perfect choice” to represent their HEX condom. Disastrous advertising choice.
Dr. Jill McDevitt
Rip n Roll’s Resident Expert, blogger, and social media Guru.
Dr. Jill McDevitt
Ph.D. Human Sexuality
M.Ed. Human Sexuality Education
B.A. Sexuality, Marriage, and Family
Dr. Jill is the only person in the world with
all three degrees in human sexuality.
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