Campaigns, Student/PR

2019’s Creative Campaigns #11 -Durex’s Game Of Thrones Marketing

You may be wondering why there are now condoms splashed all over my blog. But actually, I’ve a very good reason.

Now, I haven’t contributed to my ‘Creative Campaigns’ series in a while. I blame the hustle and bustle life, combined with my incapability to write about anything else once I get one idea set in my mind. Nevertheless, for whatever reason, I haven’t been so hot on the heels of current campaigns as I was at the start of the year (sorry!).

But today, that changes. As I present to you one of my new favourite advertising campaigns.

Not least of the year, but perhaps ever.

How Do You Market… Condoms?

Marketing for taboo subjects is something that entirely interests me.

Anything to do with gambling, sex, even vaping to an extent – how you market a product with a certain type of stigma around it really sparks my curiosity. I mean firstly, how do you get people excited about a product or brand that receives mixed opinion no matter what they do, and secondly – are there more ethical procedures you have to follow than you would for regular campaigns?

The latter doesn’t really apply here I suppose, as I don’t think anyone could argue that Condoms are unethical. Nonetheless, they’re still unlikely to be as easy to market as any other product. Not everybody is comfortable about talking about sex, and even then – there are certain regulations you have to follow when talking about it. (Before 9pm it’s a no-go, and all that).

So unless you want to cut your marketing efforts off until the twilight hours, how to do you effectively promote your brand yet still comply with regulations and the opinions of the masses? It requires intelligence, innovation and a whole heap of creativity. It’s a tricky art to remain tasteful, while marketing something that a good proportion of people would class as ‘taboo’.

Do you see why this interests me now?

Durex, Featuring Game Of Thrones

Introducing Durex, featuring Game Of Thrones – a plausible solution to the problem. A campaign that channels imagination, while staying topical to what a lot of people are talking about at the moment. (Myself very, very, very much included).

It’s true that when any major TV show or film is rife in conversation, there’s always an opportunity to capitalise on that. But not all brands can tie into a show that’s storyline is around the fight for a mythical throne (along with a fight against an army of… Dead people?) It features witches, dragons, giants and zombies. Does it feature condoms? Absolutely not. Sure, in an ideal world you’d be able to plug your brand with what’s topical and talked about – but how? 

I’ve seen many loose attempts, mind. None of them particularly noteworthy. It’s good to try and work a talking point to your advantage, but when it’s a long stretch – it’s not really worth it. Unless you’re Durex that is. Who, surprisingly, really, really make it work.

As Arya taught us all this weekend

When you’re building your brand around sex and protection, you have to be a little witty and very clever. You want an approachable brand, who don’t take themselves too seriously – but all the while condoning a very important message. The importance of safe sex.

What I love about this campaign is that it really reinforces the brand’s rapport and personality. Everybody knows the kind of organisation Durex is and the kind of tone they take, and that’s thanks in no small part to their impressive marketing campaigns over the years. Witty remarks and euphemisms are commonplace. Almost to the point that we expect them now.

Which is precisely the kind of effect that a sound Comms strategy has. And it’s awesome.


Not only this, but the creativity and the intelligence that runs deep through this campaign is on par with brilliance too. It takes somebody pretty special to be able to think up fitting subliminal messages that correlate with a show as weird and wonderful as Game Of Thrones, all the while remaining respectful and tactful.

It speaks volumes to say that this isn’t the first time that Durex have been applauded for their clever communications either.

So hats to the brand, this is a campaign well worth talking about.

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