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How Durex found love online

Durex’s online video “Sticky Tape” is not about tape, per se. The hugely popular viral video is about being “prepared for the unexpected”.

Originating from a film competition from late 2012, the comical clip has garnered viewers of more than five digits in almost every channel in which it was shared.

On Durex Hong Kong’s YouTube page, it saw more than 200,000 views in four months; as such, the condom company pushed it to television.

For Frankie Li, marketing manager of Durex Hong Kong, this new emphasis on digital makes sense, given his audience is well, basically, everyone.

“Digital is a priority for Durex: not only because digital is already a core media to reach our target consumers, but also digital is a platform for us to drive high engagement,” he said.

Reckitt Benckiser (maker of Durex) said in April that sales in Latin America and Asia Pacific jumped 11% in the first quarter, helped mainly by Durex sales in China.

This growth on the mainland is prompted by an increased disposable income and rising concern for health as well as a raised awareness for condom usage: earlier this month, Tsinghua University has even installed the first vending machine that dispenses the plastic while looping a sexual advice video via an integrated TV screen.

Currently, Durex is present on most major Chinese social media channels that see posts on products and short, heart-tugging blurbs on relationships. In Hong Kong, the label has a strong presence on Facebook that boasts gimmicky tips for sexual health.

“Facebook is not for hard selling: it’s more about sharing newsfeed about love or sexual wellbeing or forwarding popular posts on these related topics,” said Li.

Though most of the creative work is done on a global scale, Li added that Durex’s communication mantra is always “passionate, playful and a little provocative.”

“We’re always very cautious about the tone and manner in a sense that we try to be funny, smart, inspiring and open minded but not pornographic.”

Durex’s media agency is PHD.

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