Even as most condom ads continue to focus on heterosexual couples, ripples of inclusive narratives are bubbling under the surface, we explore.
The feeling of being accepted is often deeply rooted in the visuals one encounters on a daily basis, in media or otherwise. These can have a profound impact on the person and how they see themselves. Sexual identity and preferences are extremely personal matters where such validation holds even more value — it helps people know they aren’t alone. That they aren’t wrong or weird. That their feelings matter. That they matter. This is where some global condom brands have been trying to make strides with inclusive ads. They are perhaps best suited to take these conversations ahead for these are directly linked to their sexual wellness and hygiene range of products.
Labels Don’t Matter
When it comes to using a condom, labels don’t matter. This statement might seem obvious on the surface but can have a huge impact when it’s said publicly anyway. It doesn’t matter who you like or what genitalia you or your partner possess, sexual wellness products can come to your rescue — directly or via DIY versions. Such narratives help quell judgments and make related conversations easier for people to slide into and feel comfortable in.
Visuals & Narratives
Inclusive visuals and narratives matter. Increasingly, more and more global condom brand campaigns are including different types of couples in their narratives. When put together in the same video with depictions of intimacy between heterosexual couples, they help create a space for inclusive use-case scenario conversations. The brand is thus able to add more people to their pool of potential customers while validating their existence and choices.
Real People, Real Stories
Since condom brands are working on including people with varied sexual preferences in their narratives, they are increasingly getting more real people involved in their campaigns instead of roping in actors and/or influencers. This adds a layer of authenticity to the messaging, while also helping with visibility of persons who identify as queer. When these people tell their stories, people who find it relatable also find their own voice in the void. It helps build a safer environment for discussions — and bigger goals are achieved, one small step at a time.
Recently PeeSafe launched Domina female condoms in India. They have since been creating content to promote and normalise the use of condoms among persons who identify as females. In a category that is dominated by products meant for men, these steps can be seen as a breath of fresh air. They increase the scope of conversations. It’s a power that is exclusive to condom brands — the inclusive narratives that they build in their ads are unique and powerful in ways that other categories can’t match. And so far, they seem to be doing a good job!