Trojan has a rather, erm, interesting history of ad campaigns, most of which are a little bit goofy and patently targeted at men. Now, it seems, the company is changing its tune. As The New York Times reports, Trojan has released a new condom, along with an ambitious marketing strategy that seeks to appeal to female consumers.
XOXO, as the new product is called, is your standard condom. But it comes in a sleek, lilac box (because women) that can be discreetly placed in a purse. The accompanying ad campaign features couples kissing on doorsteps and piers. Television commercials for XOXO aren’t in the least bit silly; they show couples interacting tenderly, and they are narrated by a female voice.
The goal of the product is, in part, to make women feel more comfortable about purchasing condoms. “We consistently hear from people as they shop for condoms, especially from women, that they feel the weight of everyone’s eyes on them when they purchase condoms,” Bruce Weiss, vice president of marketing for the brand, told the Times.
The company also hopes to convey a message of equal responsibility when it comes to buying and using condoms. According to a survey conducted by the company, only 18 percent of women have ever purchased a condom. And so with XOXO, Trojan aims to “inspire women to trust their inner confidence and own their sexual health through buying, carrying, talking about and using condoms,” according to a press release.
While it’s hard to argue with the importance of women advocating for their sexual health, some have claimed that Trojan’s campaign misses the mark. “At a time when repressive legislation restricting our reproductive rights and choices are at an all-time high, Trojan asks women to take responsibility for birth control and S.T.D. protection for their partners,” Heidi Sieck, founder of the political platform #VoteProChoice, said during an interview with the Times. “If Trojan really valued women owning our sexuality and celebrating our reproductive freedoms, then highlighting the need to preserve these rights should lead any future marketing campaigns.”
And let’s be honest: Women already bear plenty of responsibility when it comes to preventing pregnancy and “owning” their sexual health. How many types of female birth control can you name? And how many types of male-oriented contraceptives come to mind?
Read the full story at The New York Times.