Adweek – August 15, 2017
By Angela Natividad
Have you ever been to a Planned Parenthood, or any similar organization, to fish from their glass bowl of free condoms?
It’s awkward. Worse still is what you end up with: A handful of suspect brands you may not recognize, or sometimes—if you’re lucky—a random pineapple-flavored one, more perplexing than exciting.
Free condoms get a bad rep. And while that’s not the only reason a teen gets pregnant or contracts an STD, their inherent lack of sexiness doesn’t help overcome that ol’ “Ugh, condoms don’t feel good” chestnut.
With that in mind, Milwaukee, Wis.-based organization Diverse & Resilient partnered with agency Cramer-Krasselt to come up with something cool—and just as free as the tropically-tanged Jimmy hats of yore: Naughty Bags, a brand of condoms created by teens, for teens.
The U.S. teen pregnancy rate dropped 9 percent in 2016, marking an all-time low. But it’s nonetheless higher than in other developed countries, with remaining disparities for minority groups and people in certain geographical locations. Milwaukee’s teen pregnancy rate is three times higher than the national average, and STD transmission worsened as U.S. rates hit a record high.
As Cramer-Krasselt puts it, Naughty Bags are meant to “hit the sweet—and often missed—spot of function and lifestyle.” In other words, they’re neither boring nor embarrassing.
Made instead to be sex-positive, humorous and cool, the labeling was designed in partnership with the target market and features witty names like Pork Parka, Pelvic Poncho, Scuba Gear, Surge Protector and—our favorite—Papa Stopper.
Finally a place where young people can put all their clever puns to good use!
The insight was drawn from focus groups with young urban adults and research on their sexual behavior. WISN.com posted a video of teens themselves talking about whether Naughty Bags will actually make a difference. Even if they’re a little corny, “People will laugh at them and try to get one so they can show people or tell people about it,” one says when asked the question point-blank.
The condoms went into distribution this month, in places that (hurray!) don’t require you to cross an angry evangelist picket line or scrounge for change while getting gas. They’re being handed out at barber shops, including Gee’s Clippers and Dep’s Hall of Fades, and discreet pickup locations disguised as newspaper stands. Diverse & Resilient is also giving them away at its home base and via its 414All program.
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