People throw around the word, fuck, carefree and carelessly. But the word, moist? That makes people squirm. It’s one of the most hated and uncomfortable words in the English language.
Which is why it’s absolutely perfect to use in Havas London’s ad for Durex lubrication. It grabs attention. It may even achieve its aim of normalising female sexual discomfort and destigmatising the solution. The campaign film relies on the power of the word to elicit strong responses. It’s simply a montage of women saying the word ‘moist’ to the camera, getting progressively more comfortable with the word the more they say it.
Vicki Maguire, chief creative officer at Havas London, stated, “Moist. It’s the shortest script we’ve ever written, and yet the most uncomfortable. It’s the one word above all others guaranteed to provoke a visceral reaction. Thing is, it’s taboo just like female pleasure is taboo. Our ambition is to make ‘moist’ just another word – because once we’re comfortable with that, we can start getting comfortable talking about ladies’ satisfaction in the bedroom. Which, with more than seven in ten women experiencing uncomfortable sex in their lifetime1, clearly leaves a lot to be desired.”
Women can naturally feel a bit drier down there for up to two-thirds of their cycle, leading to discomfort during sex being a feeling experienced by seven out of ten women1. And despite nine out of ten women who use lube saying that sex feels better and more comfortable2, only one third are actually reaching for it as a solution to natural dryness3.
The whole campaign is playfully provocative. The new work continues the brand’s ongoing Ladies, Let’s Lube platform, first established in 2019. It fits in with Durex’ mission to make good sex accessible for all.
The campaign spans video on demand, social, out of home, PR activation, influencer partnerships, a podcast ad and the sponsorship of topical podcasts including No Holes Barred, Loose Lips, Dear Joan and Jericha, The Girls Bathroom and The Emma Guns Show. It will also include social creative and out of home executions in which the word, moist, appears in huge, unmissable type. OOH is a priority for Durex going forward, to really help normalise all sexual conventions proudly and publicly in society. To do so, the brand plans to run OOH at locations such as Westfield Square at Westfield London, the country’s largest outdoor motion screen.
Lindsay Forbes, category manager at Durex, added, “Our aim at Durex is to liberate good sex for all. For women, who can be naturally drier down there for up to two-thirds of the month, that may well involve lube. Indeed, nine out of ten women say sex feels better with it. Yet it remains disproportionately stigmatised – in part, because we’re uncomfortable even talking about the problem, much less doing anything about it. This campaign addresses that uncomfortableness head-on – because if we can become more comfortable with the word ‘moist’, we become more comfortable talking about sexual discomfort and lube as the solution to it.”
173% of women experience discomfort at least once – Durex Naturals Attitudinal study; 2005 UK adults aged 18+. Freuds, 2019.
29/10 of American women agree sex is better with lube. Jozkowski et al. 2013.
3 Durex Naturals Attitudinal study; 2005 UK adults aged
Creative Agency: Havas London
Chief Creative Officer: Vicki Maguire
Executive Creative Director: Elliot Harris
Creative Team: Greg Ormrod & Thomas Worthington
Managing Partner: Ainhoa Wadsworth
Business Director: Nick Boyle
Senior Account Manager: Victoria Goulder
Strategy Director: Ally Chapman
Agency Producer (film): Frankie Burwell
Agency Producer (print): Kat Loizou
Head of Design: Lorenzo Fruzza
Designer: Sarah Butler
Production company: HunkyDory
Director: Kate Cox
Producer: James Fuller
DoP: Eira Wynn Jones
Editor: Laura Cairney-Keize @ Trim
Colourist: Adam Clarke
Flame Artist: Carl Godwin Alvarez
Motion Graphics Artist: Lawrence Scanlon
Audio Post-production: String and Tins
Media Agency: Zenith
PR Agency: Hill+Knowlton Strategies
Category Manager: Lindsay Forbes
Senior Brand Manager: Annelie Pennock
Assistant Brand Manager: Isabelle Hosking