Terribly designed condom wrapper accidentally promotes non-consensual sex
I imagine working on the design side of a marketing campaign is pretty tough. You've got deadlines to meet, and all your creativity is going to be rushed through in order to get a project done in time. But while the things that catch our eyes, whether they be products or their advertisements, often look simple, coming up with the concept can be incredibly difficult.
That's partly why there are so many rubbish ideas out there, or ads you would happily fast-forward through or head to the kitchen to grab a snack instead of watch. Yet even these eye-rolling or forgettable commercials tend to not be too bad. No one's going to lose a job over them, they just might not get the promotion.
This is absolutely not the case with this latest public debacle, as the message on this condom wrapper ended up meaning the exact opposite of what it intended. Posted on Reddit this week by user wrags23, along with the caption "Safe sex campaign on my campus handed these out", this design is truly atrocious.
In all honesty, it took me a very long time to figure out what it was actually trying to say. In fact, it would be more accurate to say that I never discovered the real message myself, but instead saw a commenter handily explain it to me. Now that's good marketing!
Did you realise it first time? If you did, your brain is running a lot faster and more efficiently than mine. And if you still haven't seen it - take another look at the donut at the beginning of the sentence. Still don't get it? Well the idea is that you are meant to see this image and say it out loud - so "donut go further without consent". Doesn't exactly work does it?
I can kind of understand why they chose to use emoji speak, hoping to remind people to treat one another with respect without being too serious and alienating millennials or something. But really, the text alone would have been fine, and there would be a lot less people thinking that the condoms are advocating non-consensual sex. The fact that people signed off on this design without seeing the issue is bizarre.
Apparently the condoms were made by a company called Say It With a Condom. They design "consent condoms" start a conversation about how to ask for consent before sex. I guess they got what they wanted in the end. We are all talking about it, but there's a lot more bewilderment than I imagine they were expecting.
The condoms have since been removed from the online store, and the company's CEO, Benjamin Sherman, told Us Weekly about how it came to be:
"We went through our normal checks and balances with this design. Whenever we create a new campaign we send it out to universities and domestic violence shelters for feedback and we didn't receive any negative feedback. If we're not given the green light, we redesign or just choose a different tagline."
It's a shame, since the aim of the game was do something positive, but the checks these guys go through need some extra steps at least. Hopefully in the future other companies will stay far away from using an image of a donut instead of real words.