The firm has introduced some interesting campaigns in 2015, with the Connect initiative billed as as a tech-based bedroom breakthrough to bring couples together and enhance sex lives.
Shocking research revealed that a third of Brits have paused sex to answer their phone, so it turned out that said breakthrough was simple – people need to spend less time on their phone and more time naked.
The Connect video received more than 37m views on YouTube and, while it was a tongue in cheek marketing ploy, the results were clearly effective and the reactions from unsuspecting couples were just as emotional.
However, Durex did actually go on to develop a tech product for the bedroom after realising how popular the campaign had become, thus the Connect app was released. Couples that download it will have their phones synced with their partner, which results in the app sending the phone to sleep at sudden or specified moments to make way for bedroom activities.
Now, making the most of topical events, the playful brand has piggybacked onto Singapore’s SG50 celebrations, which marked the country’s 50th year of independence.
According to the SG50 website, the ceremony “celebrates the Singaporean spirit – signifying that our dreams are not limited by the physical size of our island nation. This is a momentous event for Singaporeans to reflect on how far we’ve come together as a nation and people”.
Indeed, they are powerful and inspiring words – but Durex had a few to share too, with a newspaper ad campaign in the form of an apology letter.
The average birth rate in Singapore is 1.2 children per woman, which is almost half that of neighbouring Malaysia.
Doing what Durex does best, it took credit for Singapore’s declining number of children being born and encouraged locals to “forgo our contraceptive products in honour of this year’s SG50 celebrations”.
Read the humble and heartfelt outreach to the Singaporean people in full below.
To all Singaporeans, Durex would humbly like to apologise.
Over the past 50 years, while the Singapore economy has been moving rapidly upwards, the country’s birth rate has been spiralling down at an alarming speed.
It has now come to our attention that we may in fact be part of the problem.
Durex has always focused strongly on the needs of our customers. As a result, the efficacy and convenience of our products have increased confidence markedly amongst consumers.
But according to our latest research, it is this very confidence that may have hastened the decline of the birth rate.
We would like to assure the public that this was never our intention. And in light of this new information, we would like to offer our sincerest apologies.
After a process of rigorous self-examination, we now feel compelled to take action. Hence, on 9 August, we would urge all committed and loving married couples to forgo our contraceptive products in honour of this year’s SG50 celebrations.
With your help and support, we can rectify this unfortunate situation.
This is a chance for Singapore to embrace prosperity anew in its Golden Jubilee year. A prosperity not measured in dollars and cents, but in diapers and baby strollers.
Go ahead, Singapore. Make love your priority this SG50.
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