Fox and CBS rejected a new Trojan commercial that has the audacity to suggest that people have sex with condoms in order to avoid pregnancy rather than die of Super AIDS. When you’re doing as well as the big networks, you can certainly afford to turn down those revenue streams. Fox actually admitted rejecting the ad for the aforementioned reason, while CBS was more vague about how the ad was inappropriate “even with late-night-only restrictions.” Here’s the ad, created by the Kaplan Thaler Group:
For those of you on networks with firewalls tighter than CBS margins, the commercial features anthropomorphic pigs hitting on girls at a bar. One little piggy goes to a bathroom machine to procure a Trojan condom and turns into humanized hot stuff that blondes want to have sex with. The tagline is “Evolve. Use a condom every time.” Fox and CBS disagree. One Fox exec commented:
We simply did not want this ad to air because of insurmountable logistical problems. For starters, pigs have these really long corkscrew shaped members, which no Trojan condom is equipped to sheath. No, not even a Magnum. Also, female pigs can have up to 30 minute orgasms, which is a completely unrealistic expectation for any male. Besides, have you seen Knocked Up? When you’re not disease-ridden, there’s no reason to use a condom. Babies are precious.
Not all television execs had the same reaction, and the new ad will air on ABC, NBC, MTV, Comedy Central, Adult Swim and other cable networks. Fox and CBS did not reject Trojan’s prior campaign, which took a “people who have sex outside of wedlock probably have HIV unknowingly so you should wrap it up” angle.
Ads that suggest that people occasionally have sex in non-missionary positions for non-procreative purposes are having a tough time airing, unlike shows that encourage infidelity and promiscuity like Fox’s “Temptation Island.” The 2004 Viagra campaign that featured the tagline “Remember when you used to be called Wild Thing?” was pulled by Pfizer after criticism from the FDA. The FDA said the ads were misleading consumers into thinking that Viagra gives you super huge rock hard erections instead of helping the balance of old men.
Trojan commands 75% of the $416mm annual condom market. Yes, sadly (especially given how expensive the things are!) the condom market is only $416mm and only 1 in 4 sex acts involve one.
Pigs With Cellphones, but No Condoms [New York Times]