Self-styled “Australia’s Naughtiest Condom Brand”, Big Richard Industries Pty Ltd has launched a monthly condom subscription to combat embarrassment about buying condoms.
The company cites a recent NSW Health report that of people aged 20-29, only 40.51% of people admit they always use condoms during sex. Its deduction was that problems of availability and awkwardness of over the counter sales were to blame.
Big Richard decided that it could offer another solution. The company’s range of condoms is still available in some 400 stores across Australia, but this latest move is designed to also enhance its online presence as a branded condom supplier.
Big Richard founder and CEO Lloyd Perry said, “’Young people pay for their mobile phones or their gym membership via a subscription plan, so why not condoms?” Starting at $10 per month, subscribers receive their condoms through the post, together with a mystery sex toy “to spice up your bedroom action”.
In parallel, a new advertising campaign has been launched by the company, based on a video showing a scantily-clad woman visibly and audibly excited on a bed, while a man beside her reads his newspaper. Prior to this, Big Richard released a video showing rabbits in a variety of sexual positions.
How far can a company go with condom branding?
Branding is an important part of the company’s approach to the condoms market. Big Richard wanted to avoid both anonymous wrappers and insipid names.
The company offers three options for its condom subscription: the “Shag” pack; the “Couples” pack; and the “Superman” pack. The company’s philosophy is to “bring the cheeky Australian spirit to safe sex”. Whether or not condom selections are sent out in plain brown envelopes is not stated.
However, Big Richard demonstrates a certain level of thoughtfulness by making its condom subscriptions customisable, a notable difference compared to phone and gym subscriptions, according to changes in requirements.
Is this good marketing, bad taste or both?
With its emphasis on the younger age group, the company has also launched its own “SexPlay” iPhone app. True to its “cheeky Australian spirit”, the SexPlay app includes the “Shag-O-Meter”.
It allows users to record their sexual activity and compare their levels of duration and volume against other users worldwide. Users can also make notes about each sex session and keep score about their greatest sexual encounters.
On its website, the company also posts an apology to users for server failure on its first and only weekend for downloading the app free of charge, having underestimated the demand. Whether this was accidental or a deliberate ploy is an open question, but either way, it confirms that Big Richard is no slouch at marketing.