Historically, people have been scared into using condoms. Health organizations, government officials and even private corporations paint grim pictures of what life could be like if sexually active people don’t use condoms 100% of the time.
Images of death, stories of large poverty stricken families may work sometimes but are scare tactics the right approach? Not according to DKT International, a Washington, DC based NGO, which has used social tactics since 1989 to encourage condom usage over the ‘withdrawal method’ as a leading way to promote family planning.
From Brazil, the number one importer of condoms yet amongst the fewest users, to Turkey where empowering couples to use protection has been a continuous struggle; DKT has executed campaigns using traditional and new mediums of communication.
Two years ago, they launched a campaign for Fiesta Condoms, whose slogan (“Fiesta believes that safe and fun sex is your right) highlighted their acceptance of sexual behavior. The brand use bright, colorful and fun themes to educate and motivate consumers.
Naturally, the campaign included a Facebook page since the social media site is the third most popular web portal in Turkey with nearly 16 million users. It encouraged interaction through polls on sexually related issues, sultry music videos and instructions on how to use condoms.
Currently, the Facebook page has just over 9,000 fans – nothing significant for a country populated with nearly 75 million people and 45% of them are Internet users.
While the numbers aren’t significant, they also aren’t surprising. Many risky brands have succeeded in the social media space, but getting people to openly discuss their sexual behaviors and preferences is no small challenge. I actually don’t know which of the fun-loving or deathly images work better, but I do applaud DKT and Fiesta for attempting to brighten up the conversation. Sex, condom usage and the consequences surrounding it all are all taboo topics that will require extremely innovative solutions to making consumers feel comfortable about discussing sex in the most social of settings.