Join us at TNW Conference 2022 for insights into the future of tech →

The heart of tech

This article was published on September 7, 2011

    Durex tells your “safe sex fortune” in Taiwan with an undercover condom machine

    Durex tells your “safe sex fortune” in Taiwan with an undercover condom machine
    Quinton O'Reilly
    Story by

    Quinton O'Reilly

    Quinn has a massive interest in the media, both traditional and online, as well as sports (especially football), videogames and literature. Quinn has a massive interest in the media, both traditional and online, as well as sports (especially football), videogames and literature. You can find him on Twitter via @qoreilly

    Tying a product into a country’s culture fabric in both a creative and cost effective manner definitely takes some doing. The people at OgilvyAction Agency in Taiwan managed to do just that for Durex.

    The company needed a new way to increase their condom sales but due to the cultural stigmas and taboos associated with sex in the country, getting promoters to hand out samples on the streets was ineffective. So the company had to find a new way to distribute them and increase sales.

    Noticing that fortune-telling was a popular aspect of Taiwanese culture and how it’s traditionally used to discover a person’s fate in wealth, health and love, Durex decided to use this knowledge to its advantage. They created an unbranded fortune-telling machine called ‘Xerud’ and placed it in bars, karaoke bars and nightclubs around Taiwan where the company’s target audience would regularly frequent.

    Under the pretext of giving out predictions relating to relationships and their sexual life, ‘Xerud’ also gave out relevant sample condoms based on the prediction as well as educational tips as to how you could practice safe sex.

    Alongside the fortune telling machine, Durex ran online and print adverts, TV commercials, online predictions, a Facebook page and in-store POSM (Point Of Sale Materials).

    It turned out that on average; a street promoter handed out 23 samples an hour while ‘Xerud’ handed out 77 samples an hour. Accompanying that was a four percent increase while before, the category sales volume was in negative growth with minus five percent. The Durex market share also reached a historical high in February. The company claim that the campaign softened inhibitions and started meaningful conversations because of it.

    Not only was the campaign clearly successful and did everything that was required of it, but it was also cost efficient, topical, and an original way of bringing the product directly to those who may have wanted or needed it.