Durex has reinvented itself as an advocate against the sexual taboos, stigmas and outdated, non-inclusive attitudes that stop people making the most of sex.
The new positioning and visual identity by Havas London is a significant development in its global strategy. The 91-year-old brand is challenging the unrepresentative and damaging sexual conventions that pervade society. It has made itself a champion of the positive reality of sex. By challenging rather than enforcing society’s sexual conventions, it hopes to stimulate healthy conversation and normalise good sex for all, whatever that happens to look like.
Behind the relaunch os Durex’s 2017 Global Sex Survey, which paints a picture of a sexual landscape in flux. While the growth of the internet has brought positives including openness, discussion, exploration and access, its consequences, including misconnection, myths, lack of education and confusion, are substantial. Ultimately, the findings pointed to an underlying sexual anxiousness, driven primarily by unrealistic representations of sex throughout culture.
It is those unrealistic representations, as well as the stigma and taboos they exacerbate, that Durex is fighting.
The new positioning launched on Valentine’s Day, the day on which these conventions are felt most strongly. One of the myths Durex aims to bust is that good sex can only happen on special occasions.
The launch centres around an open letter:
What if this Valentine’s we challenge sexual norms.
‘Cause let’s be honest, why do we conform?
Behind the messages of love and sex,
Sometimes it’s not as good as we expect.
Told I need to moan like that.
I should look like this.
Swipe left. Double tap. The perfect profile pic.
We’re all under pressure,
And enough is enough.
So what if we take a stand for sex?
Worry less about how it ‘should’ look. Celebrate how it can feel.
Where porn’s not the norm.
And STDs are kinda real.
Women aren’t judged too quick.
Guys aren’t told they need a big ****.
From the first time, to ‘no, not this time’.
Throw out definitions and let go of traditions.
You do you. Or he, she, them, they, us and we.
Love is love, no matter orientation.
Isn’t it time we challenge sexpectations?
Elliot Harris, Reckitt Benckiser global executive creative director at Havas, noted, “This might be the most important piece of work we ever do. Durex is a huge brand with a unique and vital role in culture. It has genuine influence, and the capability to enact real change. And make no mistake, this is a proper commitment. This new brand purpose will lead to healthier conversations around, and attitudes towards, sex, but also greater inclusion and acceptance for those who might not always experience it. To have a brand like Durex publicly and proudly on your side makes a difference.”
Agency: Havas London
Global Executive Creative Director Reckitt Benckiser & Creative Partner: Elliot Harris
Creative Director: Lynsey Atkin
Creative: John Ogunmuyiwa
Managing Partner: Ainhoa Wadsworth
Business Director: Nick Boyle
Account Directors: Sophie Amodio & James Johnstone
Senior Account Manager: Bella Macdonald
Strategy Partner: Chantelle Begley
Strategy Director: Ally Chapman
Junior Strategist: Asa Nowers
Programme Director: Matthew King
Senior Producers: Claire Leveille & Stefanie Price
Producers: Sarah Wells & Janet Berry
Junior Producer: Rianna Johnson
Head of Design: Lorenzo Fruzza
Senior Designer: Nikolas House
Digital Design Director: Simon Baker
Integrated Design Director: Joshua Toogood
Designers: Hena Bhatti & Kieran Mistry
Production Company: HKX Productions
Photography: John Ogunmuyiwa & Emily Scarlett Romain
Font Design: Colophon Foundry
UK Media agency: Zenith Media
UK PR Agency: Hill+Knowlton Strategies
Client: Reckitt Benckiser
Sexual Wellbeing Global Category Director: Ben Wilson
Global Brand Director, Sexual Wellbeing: Ben Crawley
Global Digital Brand Lead: Jan Kodakek