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Creative

Durex Challenges the Norms of Sexual Conventions with Sex Positive Rebranding

Havas London developed the relaunch to challenge sexual conventions and unrepresented throughout society

Durex Challenges the Norms of Sexual Conventions with Sex Positive Rebranding

Durex today unveils a major new positioning and visual identity, railing against sexual taboos, stigmas and outdated, non-inclusive attitudes. Devised by Durex’s global creative agency Havas London, it marks a significant development in its marketing strategy, one that will see the 91-year-old brand challenge the unrepresentative and damaging sexual conventions prevalent throughout society. 

Durex marketing communications globally will reflect this new positioning – showcasing the ‘positive reality’ of sex. By challenging rather than enforcing society’s sexual conventions, it hopes to stimulate healthy conversation and normalise good sex for all, whatever that happens to look like.

The relaunch has been informed by Durex’s 2017 Global Sex Survey, which paints a picture of a sexual landscape in flux. While the exponential growth of the internet has brought positives including openness, discussion, exploration and access, its consequences, including misconnection, myths, lack of education and confusion, are substantial. Ultimately, the findings pointed to an underlying sexual anxiousness, driven primarily by unrealistic representations of sex throughout culture. 

It is those unrealistic representations – as well as the stigma and taboos they exacerbate – that Durex is rallying against. This new positioning launches from Valentine’s Day. This launch date – the occasion on which these conventions are felt most strongly – was chosen specifically, and one of the myths Durex aims to bust is that good sex can only happen on special occasions. 

The launch itself centres around an inclusive open letter to all:

What if this Valentine’s we challenge sexual norms.

‘Cause let’s be honest, why do we conform?

Behind the messages of love and sex,

Sometimes it’s not as good as we expect.

Told I need to moan like that.

I should look like this.

Swipe left. Double tap. The perfect profile pic.

We’re all under pressure,

And enough is enough.

So what if we take a stand for sex?

Worry less about how it ‘should’ look. Celebrate how it can feel.

Where porn’s not the norm.

And STDs are kinda real.

Women aren’t judged too quick.

Guys aren’t told they need a big ****.

From the first time, to ‘no, not this time’.

Throw out definitions and let go of traditions.

You do you. Or he, she, them, they, us and we.

Love is love, no matter orientation. 

Isn’t it time we challenge sexpectations?

Elliot Harris, RB global executive creative director at Havas, adds: “This might be the most important piece of work we ever do. Durex is a huge brand with a unique and vital role in culture. It has genuine influence, and the capability to enact real change. And make no mistake, this is a proper commitment. This new brand purpose will lead to healthier conversations around, and attitudes towards, sex, but also greater inclusion and acceptance for those who might not always experience it. To have a brand like Durex publicly and proudly on your side makes a difference.”

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Campaign credits

Project name: Durex Global Rebrand – Challenge the Norms

HKX companies involved: Havas London, HKX Productions

Client: [name, position and brand]

Sexual Wellbeing Global Category Director, RB: Ben Wilson

Global Brand Director, Sexual Wellbeing, RB: Ben Crawley

Global Digital Brand Lead, RB: Jan Kodakek

Global ECD / Creative Partner: Elliot Harris, RB Global Executive Creative Director and Creative Partner

Creative Director: Lynsey Atkin

Creative: John Ogunmuyiwa

Account team

Managing Partner: Ainhoa Wadsworth

Business Director: Nick Boyle

Account Director: Sophie Amodio

Account Director: James Johnstone

Senior Account Manager: Bella Macdonald

Strategy team

Strategy Partner: Chantelle Begley

Strategy Director: Ally Chapman

Junior Strategist: Asa Nowers

Agency producers

Programme Director: Matthew King

Senior Producer: Claire Leveille

Senior Producer: Stefanie Price

Producer: Sarah Wells, Janet Berry

Junior Producer: Rianna Johnson

Design

Head of Design: Lorenzo Fruzza

Senior Designer: Nikolas House

Digital Design Director: Simon Baker

Integrated Design Director: Joshua Toogood

Designer: Hena Bhatti

Designer: Kieran Mistry

Font

Font Design: Colophon Foundry

Production Company

Production Company: HKX Productions

Photography

Photography: John Ogunmuyiwa, Emily Scarlett Romain

Media/PR

UK Media agency: Zenith Media

UK PR Agency: Hill+Knowlton Strategies

Category: Corporate, Social and PSAs , Sexual Health