The Digital Alternative for Condom Marketing

Sanjay Mehta
Dec 18, 2017 10:20 IST
Condom Marketing

Sanjay Mehta, Joint - CEO, Mirum India shares how condom marketing can make up for the ad ban on TV between 6 AM to 10 PM through digital mediums.

No condom ads from 6 AM – 10 PM on television!!

This notification on 11thDecember 2017 from theI&B Ministrytook social media by storm.

There was also a conversation about how it would impact condom brands, TV channels and their revenues.

The likely reasons that the I&B Ministry thought of banning the ads was that the condom ads display some adult imagery which maybe disturbing for various viewers from a parental point of view.

As an alternative, there could be an option of regulating the content of such ads, which means there would be a separate censor board for advertising like the one in real estate business RERA wherein one is obliged to show the ads before publishing it to avoid false promises.

Data shows that India is one of the lowest condom consuming country, with only 6% condom usage as compared to 30% in European countries, and on other hand we also have the problem of population growth, and may both of these facts go hand in hand.

There is a huge need for education and awareness in terms of safe sex practices, both from population control point of view, and from the aspect of sexually transmitted diseases. There is no argument that the information and education for use of condoms should be prevalent across the board and reach out to all kind of demography, including that which is less literate and getting its content from television. By banning ads for condoms from larger public means that there’s a need to find an alternate way to reach the right audience.

In terms of alternate methods to carry the condom communication to the masses, there would be other options such as direct mails or magazines and of course digital media, where the chances of targeting the right people are higher.

So, for the audience which is active on the internet, for them digital media would be a perfect means to deliver the communication around condoms and specific brands of condoms.

Basis the research we did, we can see the correlation between target audience for condoms and various categories on digital, which means that sustained message to the right audience in terms of education and awareness, and also for brand preference, could be utilized on digital across the country. Additionally we can use sharp targeting in terms of gender or other interests,to ensure high level or relevancy of the message, to the targeted audience.

Is it enough to show an educational message in boring notice board style? Certainly not, because in a world where we are constantly having inputs from all kinds of entertainment, animation and videos, a boring message will surely not be seen.

So, the need is felt for creating exciting content and using content marketing to educate the consumer about the category, need and generate brand preference, which some of brands are doing.You can get very measurable results by using the right tools, and get a validation that right results are being delivered, for the brand’s campaign.

Many condom brands have used digital media very effectively in the past.

Durex launched a video which was seen and discussed over 3Mn times, the brand was trending on twitter and received large number of positive sentiments on digital with over 200Mn impressions.

The AIDS healthcare foundation started in India what was theworld’s first free condom store, and this online initiative got tremendous response. In just 3 months, more than 1mn condoms were shipped to customers.

#FreeCondomStore trended for more than 3 hours and gained 6Mn impressions, 3Mn reach, 3.7lac video views and 121 stories in digital media. Many celebrities also engaged with consumers on digital, around this.

So, if you’re a condom brand who was spending on TVC, what can you do now? Firstly, advertise aggressively across relevant channels on digital with content at its core, to get high reach and affinity.  Secondly, have sharp targeting and follow the prospective user wherever he goes on digital by crafting personalized journeys.

The TV ban may yet be a blessing in disguise for many condom brands. This may force them to think of alternate channels, and discover more efficient means like digital advertising, which will give them measurable results too!

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