Raising the Bar for Durex Sheik

By Jim Osterman

ATLANTA–If a condom advertisement can be implicit and explicit at the same time, then it is probably one of the four new television commercials for Durex Sheik from McCann-Erickson here.

The purpose of the campaign is twofold: educate consumers about using condoms for safe sex and reinforce the incorporation of the Durex brand name on Sheik products.

All four ads begin with the same visual: a plain, animated white bar against a color background. What happens next depends on the campaign’s various themes.

In ‘Original,’ one hears the sounds of an amorous couple engaged in foreplay, though no words are spoken. As the noise and pace increase, the bar goes from horizontal to a 45-degree angle, symbolism even those ignorant of Freud can understand. At this point the female becomes cautionary until the sound of a condom wrapper being torn open is heard. A condom, bearing the Durex Sheik logo, is then rolled down the bar and the couple continues where it left off.

‘Dogs & Cats,’ ‘Morning’ and ‘Roller Coaster’ play off the same basic theme.

‘Original’ and ‘Dogs & Cats,’ the first two spots to be released, air after 9 p.m. on MTV, an arrangement worked out between the cable channel and McCann. The agency is showing the spots to other cable systems for their consideration. The ads are not scheduled to run on the major broadcast networks because of condom advertising restrictions.

The cable campaign is supported by a promotion on the client’s Web site, and may expand into radio in the future. The same creative concept is being used in Canada to promote the Durex Ramses brand.

Production credits include creative director and copywriter Bob Summers, art director Jim Newbury, agency producer Janet Mason and animator John Ryan of Clicks Three Times.

Copyright ASM Communications, Inc. (1997) ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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