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Equality is Coming

Equality is Coming

Danielle Smith

Danielle Smith

August 13, 2019

Havas agencies in India, London, and Colombia help Durex create progressive conversations around sex.

 

The three villages each created campaigns for their markets for Durex that tackle taboo issues around sex and sexuality. We spoke with the teams to understand more about how they came up with the messaging around the campaigns.

India

Havas Group India Chairman & Chief Creative Officer Bobby Pawar shares how this campaign came together and why orgasm equality is an important discussion in Indian mainstream culture.

 

What was the brief from Durex?

Durex wanted to launch a revolutionary product called Durex Mutual Climax Condoms in the Indian market and hence wanted to drive anticipation and raise awareness around it. Our task was to take on the issue of orgasm equality by normalizing conversation and providing a product solution for both men and women to #ComeTogether.

What insight led to this campaign?

According to the Global Sex Survey conducted by Durex in 2017, nearly 70% of women in India don’t orgasm every time they have sex. The campaign aimed to create awareness about orgasm inequality, making men realize that women need more time and stimulation.

Using statistical and cultural truths, the campaign intended to rally public opinion toward having a healthy, positive, and important conversation about the awareness, culture, and science around the issue of orgasm equality.

Tell us a little about the storyline. What is the metaphor there?

The story of this campaign focuses on orgasm equality. And we needed a fun, engaging and sexy way of having this nuanced conversation. We have created a film by using a subtle yet not so subtle metaphor to show the stages that men and women go through during the act of sex and how the end can often be a bit anticlimactic, and then breaking the metaphor to show how powerfully pleasurable it can be when you #ComeTogether.

The driving force behind the campaign is the philosophy that sex and pleasure are great when equal, fair, and mutual. We wanted to highlight that the only way to reach this powerful level of mutual pleasure was to get there together.

There is a progressive undertone addressing orgasm inequality and pleasure for women. Can you tell us why you chose to take this direction?

Recent research has revealed that men get aroused quickly, while women tend to take time. We wanted to touch on this topic, however, talking about an orgasm is still considered  a taboo in Indian society. To come up with a film that speaks contextually and visually about orgasms was no easy task and needed to walk a fine line. So, keeping in mind the sensitivity around the topic, we created the film in a fun and engaging style by using an indirect metaphor. The main aim of the campaign was to create awareness and to build a conversation around the topic.

What has been the response to this campaign?

The internet went gaga when Durex kicked off the digital leg of its campaign #ComeTogether. The campaign was a huge success, gathering maximum impression (87.8M), reach (40.2M), conversations (37.3K) and engagement (4.5M).

London

Havas London Creative Director Lynsey Atkin explains why this spot tackles the topic of STIs while promoting sexual health and freedom in Europe.

 

What was the brief from Durex?

Young people in Spain don’t know much about STIs, and there’s a bit of a crisis going on – 1 in 4 teens now leave high school with an STI. Why? Mostly due to poor sex education, so myths and pre-conceived notions still rule. Research had told Durex that most young people in Spain think the only people at risk for STIs are intravenous drug users and prostitutes—that they or their mates would never have one. So the first thing we had to do was challenge this idea and raise awareness that everyone—especially people like them —can be at risk. And secondly, we had to actually tell them what harm STIs can have both short and long-term consequences. Not pretty, not fun, not nice, but necessary in a market where most young people have never even heard of gonorrhea. 

What insight led to this campaign? 

“Unforgettable Nights” came from the age-old, universal insight that when we’re young, we all want to have a brilliant night out and keep it—sometimes forever—in our memory. Even our use of language has evolved so we know that “an unforgettable night” is basically another way of saying “it was amazing.” It’s something we can all relate to, the nights when the music and the mates and the guy or girl you fancy all just magically convene and it’s visceral and potent and you wake up the next day with a head (and phone) full of memories you hold onto, sometimes for years. We’ve all had them. Everyone has had an unforgettable night. And when something is such a well-known construct, you can start to turn it on its head…which is what we did. 

Tell us a little about the storyline.

All of our storylines follow the same structure. We start on our protagonist, we hear their voice reliving a seemingly great night out. We see moments of their night spliced together in a fast-paced, vivid montage, overlapping and jumbled in the way that memories like to work—before the voiceover begins to change, and over the film and photos of them excitedly back at home with their crush, we hear what really happened that night—they caught an STI—and what that’s lead to: genital warts, infertility, cancer. An unforgettable night for sure, just for all the wrong reasons. 

There is an undertone that almost comes across like a PSA. Can you tell us why you chose to take this direction?

It’s an interesting question, because the majority of the film is purposely designed to not be public-service-y at all, and that’s what sucks the viewer in. Then yes, the shift in voiceover narrative and the final gut punch of a long term consequence flips the tone entirely. It’s a serious subject that comes with the need to be a little shocking. These films are created to do a huge job—get young people who think STIs don’t happen to them to realize a big, fat “Yes, they really do.” Durex isn’t just in this to sell condoms, they’re in it because they believe that good sex is a basic human right, and good sexual health is a massive part of keeping sex happy and satisfying. 

What has been the response to this campaign?

We await the full results at the end of this month, but the response to the campaign launch has been excellent. It captured the attention of over 30 Spanish media publications, meaning we reached over 2 million people in press coverage alone. Most excitingly however, is that after the Durex campaign launched, the Spanish government has begun its own messaging on STIs—after 20 years of silence. 

Colombia

Queer Kamasutra

Havas Village Colombia General Creative Director René Baquero shares how “Queer Kamasutra” encouraged the Colombian public to expand their thinking about sexual freedom and LGBTQ+ rights.  Havas Colombia developed an inclusive version of the Kama Sutra, transformed into a book of diverse sexuality that does not discriminate between sexual orientation nor gender, for client Durex.

What was the brief from Durex?

The brand wanted to make a stand with the LGBTQ+ community. This was their first pride-oriented campaign in the country. It was a campaign that aimed to position Durex as a truly inclusive brand. The objective was to talk to EVERYBODY, not just the LGBTQ+ community.

What insight led to this campaign?

We are all equally different. It would be very strange and unnatural if we all were the same. And the path to equality is recognizing our differences as natural.

Tell us a little about how this project came together. What made the Kama Sutra the jumping off point and how did you choose the positions to include?

When talking about sexuality,  the Kama Sutra has an unmatched value in people’s minds. However, it’s value, which is even a mystical one, is founded upon a heteronormative view of sexuality. This was our starting point. Nut when it came to the point of discussing the positions we would include, it was hard—not because there were few, but because every sex position we know is doable by couples of whatever gender. So we chose a few that demonstrated that thought precisely, which is why it shows gay and lesbian couples, as well as heterosexual couples. 

The book is very straightforward. Can you tell us why you chose to take this direction?

There is particularity about the Kama Sutra: It is still, in 2019, a book surrounded by taboo. The book itself is written in a very particular way, not as explicit as you would imagine. In this respect, it is the book in which all the secrets of sexuality are still a matter of secrecy. We needed a paradigm shift—if sex is still a matter of taboo, imagine what talking about sex in a diverse context is! So we decided to speak as straightforwardly and as openely about sex as possible. The aim was to make visible sexual practices among same-sex couples, heterosexual couples and every variable, thus making them all the new normal. Which we believe is what the world needs; a more open discussion about sex leads to a safer, more enjoyable practice of it for everyone.

 

The three villages each created campaigns for their markets for Durex that tackle taboo issues around sex and sexuality. We spoke with the teams to understand more about how they came up with the messaging around the campaigns.

India

Havas Group India Chairman & Chief Creative Officer Bobby Pawar shares how this campaign came together and why orgasm equality is an important discussion in Indian mainstream culture.

 

What was the brief from Durex?

Durex wanted to launch a revolutionary product called Durex Mutual Climax Condoms in the Indian market and hence wanted to drive anticipation and raise awareness around it. Our task was to take on the issue of orgasm equality by normalizing conversation and providing a product solution for both men and women to #ComeTogether.

What insight led to this campaign?

According to the Global Sex Survey conducted by Durex in 2017, nearly 70% of women in India don’t orgasm every time they have sex. The campaign aimed to create awareness about orgasm inequality, making men realize that women need more time and stimulation.

Using statistical and cultural truths, the campaign intended to rally public opinion toward having a healthy, positive, and important conversation about the awareness, culture, and science around the issue of orgasm equality.

Tell us a little about the storyline. What is the metaphor there?

The story of this campaign focuses on orgasm equality. And we needed a fun, engaging and sexy way of having this nuanced conversation. We have created a film by using a subtle yet not so subtle metaphor to show the stages that men and women go through during the act of sex and how the end can often be a bit anticlimactic, and then breaking the metaphor to show how powerfully pleasurable it can be when you #ComeTogether.

The driving force behind the campaign is the philosophy that sex and pleasure are great when equal, fair, and mutual. We wanted to highlight that the only way to reach this powerful level of mutual pleasure was to get there together.

There is a progressive undertone addressing orgasm inequality and pleasure for women. Can you tell us why you chose to take this direction?

Recent research has revealed that men get aroused quickly, while women tend to take time. We wanted to touch on this topic, however, talking about an orgasm is still considered  a taboo in Indian society. To come up with a film that speaks contextually and visually about orgasms was no easy task and needed to walk a fine line. So, keeping in mind the sensitivity around the topic, we created the film in a fun and engaging style by using an indirect metaphor. The main aim of the campaign was to create awareness and to build a conversation around the topic.

What has been the response to this campaign?

The internet went gaga when Durex kicked off the digital leg of its campaign #ComeTogether. The campaign was a huge success, gathering maximum impression (87.8M), reach (40.2M), conversations (37.3K) and engagement (4.5M).

London

Havas London Creative Director Lynsey Atkin explains why this spot tackles the topic of STIs while promoting sexual health and freedom in Europe.

 

What was the brief from Durex?

Young people in Spain don’t know much about STIs, and there’s a bit of a crisis going on – 1 in 4 teens now leave high school with an STI. Why? Mostly due to poor sex education, so myths and pre-conceived notions still rule. Research had told Durex that most young people in Spain think the only people at risk for STIs are intravenous drug users and prostitutes—that they or their mates would never have one. So the first thing we had to do was challenge this idea and raise awareness that everyone—especially people like them —can be at risk. And secondly, we had to actually tell them what harm STIs can have both short and long-term consequences. Not pretty, not fun, not nice, but necessary in a market where most young people have never even heard of gonorrhea. 

What insight led to this campaign? 

“Unforgettable Nights” came from the age-old, universal insight that when we’re young, we all want to have a brilliant night out and keep it—sometimes forever—in our memory. Even our use of language has evolved so we know that “an unforgettable night” is basically another way of saying “it was amazing.” It’s something we can all relate to, the nights when the music and the mates and the guy or girl you fancy all just magically convene and it’s visceral and potent and you wake up the next day with a head (and phone) full of memories you hold onto, sometimes for years. We’ve all had them. Everyone has had an unforgettable night. And when something is such a well-known construct, you can start to turn it on its head…which is what we did. 

Tell us a little about the storyline.

All of our storylines follow the same structure. We start on our protagonist, we hear their voice reliving a seemingly great night out. We see moments of their night spliced together in a fast-paced, vivid montage, overlapping and jumbled in the way that memories like to work—before the voiceover begins to change, and over the film and photos of them excitedly back at home with their crush, we hear what really happened that night—they caught an STI—and what that’s lead to: genital warts, infertility, cancer. An unforgettable night for sure, just for all the wrong reasons. 

There is an undertone that almost comes across like a PSA. Can you tell us why you chose to take this direction?

It’s an interesting question, because the majority of the film is purposely designed to not be public-service-y at all, and that’s what sucks the viewer in. Then yes, the shift in voiceover narrative and the final gut punch of a long term consequence flips the tone entirely. It’s a serious subject that comes with the need to be a little shocking. These films are created to do a huge job—get young people who think STIs don’t happen to them to realize a big, fat “Yes, they really do.” Durex isn’t just in this to sell condoms, they’re in it because they believe that good sex is a basic human right, and good sexual health is a massive part of keeping sex happy and satisfying. 

What has been the response to this campaign?

We await the full results at the end of this month, but the response to the campaign launch has been excellent. It captured the attention of over 30 Spanish media publications, meaning we reached over 2 million people in press coverage alone. Most excitingly however, is that after the Durex campaign launched, the Spanish government has begun its own messaging on STIs—after 20 years of silence. 

Colombia

Queer Kamasutra

Havas Village Colombia General Creative Director René Baquero shares how “Queer Kamasutra” encouraged the Colombian public to expand their thinking about sexual freedom and LGBTQ+ rights.  Havas Colombia developed an inclusive version of the Kama Sutra, transformed into a book of diverse sexuality that does not discriminate between sexual orientation nor gender, for client Durex.

What was the brief from Durex?

The brand wanted to make a stand with the LGBTQ+ community. This was their first pride-oriented campaign in the country. It was a campaign that aimed to position Durex as a truly inclusive brand. The objective was to talk to EVERYBODY, not just the LGBTQ+ community.

What insight led to this campaign?

We are all equally different. It would be very strange and unnatural if we all were the same. And the path to equality is recognizing our differences as natural.

Tell us a little about how this project came together. What made the Kama Sutra the jumping off point and how did you choose the positions to include?

When talking about sexuality,  the Kama Sutra has an unmatched value in people’s minds. However, it’s value, which is even a mystical one, is founded upon a heteronormative view of sexuality. This was our starting point. Nut when it came to the point of discussing the positions we would include, it was hard—not because there were few, but because every sex position we know is doable by couples of whatever gender. So we chose a few that demonstrated that thought precisely, which is why it shows gay and lesbian couples, as well as heterosexual couples. 

The book is very straightforward. Can you tell us why you chose to take this direction?

There is particularity about the Kama Sutra: It is still, in 2019, a book surrounded by taboo. The book itself is written in a very particular way, not as explicit as you would imagine. In this respect, it is the book in which all the secrets of sexuality are still a matter of secrecy. We needed a paradigm shift—if sex is still a matter of taboo, imagine what talking about sex in a diverse context is! So we decided to speak as straightforwardly and as openely about sex as possible. The aim was to make visible sexual practices among same-sex couples, heterosexual couples and every variable, thus making them all the new normal. Which we believe is what the world needs; a more open discussion about sex leads to a safer, more enjoyable practice of it for everyone.

Danielle Smith is the Communications Manager of Havas Group. She’s believes every meal can be tacos if you have tortillas and the heart to try.

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