NEW YORK Trojan hopes to overcome the stigmas that prevent condom use among teens and young adults with a wide-ranging online push that leans heavily on shareable content.
For its “Evolve One, Evolve All” push, Trojan has partnered with various up-and-coming artists to create a dozen pieces of unique content that address situations and excuses for engaging in risky sexual activity. It is cataloging the content on EvolveOneEvolveAll.com, which is part of Viacom’s MTV.com network, but the content is designed for embedding throughout the Web.
The move is part of Trojan’s attempt to align itself with the prevention of unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. But it’s previous reliance on traditional media has run into twin problems in reaching the important youth demographic: many media outlets won’t run its spots, and young consumers are spending more time elsewhere.
To remedy that, Trojan is in the midst of its largest-ever online campaign, which represents a fourfold increase in spending over the previous year, according to Craig Lambert, chief digital officer at Colangelo, Trojan’s lead digital agency.
“The challenge is that basically sexual health in America is a terrible, epidemic problem,” said Lambert, citing statistics showing one in four teenagers is infected with an STD. “It’s worse here than elsewhere in the world.”
Colangelo constructed a push that shows various personality types and barriers to condom use. For example, a young woman going on a third date who is hesitant to carry a condom because her date might find her promiscuous.
Austin, Texas-based rapper Shanka D-Russ created a song, “Be a Trojan Man,” to address several barriers to safe sex. His lyrics include lines like “You hot as a sauna, kissing on her/Caught up in the moment. Keep it covered, my brother.”
Another is a video by actor and filmmaker Frankie Nasso that takes a lighthearted look at a young man and woman apparently arguing about the guy’s distaste for condoms. It turns out he’s objecting to her desire for him to wear a rubber ex-president mask.
“[Creative] has to overcome the barrier,” Lambert said. “If it’s just entertaining or a spoof, that’s not going to cut it.”
The online work follows a TV campaign that ran from June 2007 to June 2008. Those spots by The Kaplan Thaler Group featured pigs in a bar trying to pick up women, only to be rebuffed. Once a condom is purchased, the pigs morph into attractive men whom women greet more receptively.
In translating the theme online, Colangelo tried to embed the safety message in content more likely to be shared. The idea, Lambert said, is to make the message peer to peer, rather than from the brand to consumers.
“We created an environment where we can stimulate conversation and engagement,” Lambert said. “They’re more likely to do the right thing.”
Trojan is running ads across MTV Network properties, which include Comedy Channel and Spike. It is also placing messages through ad network VideoEgg and social-media site Facebook.
Lambert said Trojan would measure the campaign’s success based on overall visits to the site, along with the rate at which users share content. Ultimately, though, it will look to tie the campaign to actual behavior.
“People think about measuring on the Web is if people arrive on the site and watch something,” Lambert said. “We want to see what the attitude [shift] was.”