Friend request: The son you didn’t know you had

Take note Durex. This is how you properly use social media to sell condoms. 


Fernando Alfonso III


Published Nov 30, 2011   Updated Jun 3, 2021, 12:49 am CDT

Imagine that you’re sitting at home and thinking of that girl you just started dating. You log onto Facebook and notice a pending friend request. When you click to see who it is, you violently push the mouse away, sit back in your chair, and rub your head in disbelief.

The request is from your son—a son you didn’t know you had.

That’s exactly the sort of reaction Brazilian advertising agency AGE Isobar had in mind when it created the campaign “Unexpected babies” for Olla Condoms. Isobar claims to have selected random men on Facebook and “created actual Facebook profiles for their unborn children (by tacking “Jr.” on to their names), who then attempt to friend daddy,” reported AdWeek.

Clever condom ads are no secret in the business. International contraceptive companies, and especially British ones like Durex, have been poking fun at their products, and sex in general, for years. (Sometimes it backfires, as in Durex’s recent Twitter controversy in South Africa.)

In 2007, American condom manufacturer Trojan had a commercial banned on FOX Broadcasting for featuring a bar full of pigs, hitting on random women. Only after one of these pigs decides to buy a condom from the restroom dispenser does he “evolve” into a human. The four-year-old video has taken on a cult-like status on YouTube, collecting more than 1.7 million views and nearly 2,000 comments.

Sex sells. It’s just a matter of how you market it.

Photo by Ashley Coombs

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*First Published: Nov 30, 2011, 11:47 am CST