The sexual health brand has piggybacked onto World AIDS Day on 1 December with the new international marketing push that is being plugged on social media with #CondomEmoji.
Durex believes the launch of a condom emoji will help young people avoid embarrassment when discussing safe sex and generate discussions about protecting against sexually transmitted infections.
Research from the company found that 84 per cent of 16-25 year olds are more at ease about sexual conversations when using emojis, with half of respondents admitting they regularly use emojis when talking about sex.
Volker Sydow, global director at Durex, said: “Durex believes in happier, healthier sex lives and World AIDS Day is a hugely significant reminder about the importance of safe sex.
“Looking at how influential messaging is in the development of relationships today, an official safe sex emoji is a simple and empowering step towards better protection and sexual wellbeing.”
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The idea is that Durex can help stamp out attitudes that saw a third of people claim they don’t care about safe sex, while almost half believe HIV will never impact them or their friends. As a result, the firm will submit its emoji application to creator Unicode on 1 December to coincide with World Aids Day.
“Many young people have gained their sexual knowledge through their own sexual activity and searching the internet,” said Dr. Mark McCormack, co-director, Centre for Sex, Gender and Sexualities at Durham University.
“While participants generally felt able to discuss safe sex within their romantic relationships, there was more uncertainty with new or potential partners. 80 per cent welcomed the idea of the emoji to make the discussion of safe sex easier and more fun.”
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