The Swedes do it better … digital marketing!  A fun post about a truly innovative viral mobile marketing campaign for a no-profit association, made ​​by the agency Ester , based on a mobile app to promote safe sex in Stockholm. The campaign was awarded from ‘ EPICA (European Premier International Creative Awards) at the end of 2011.

  • Brand: Condom08 – The Sex Profile
  • Concept:   Mobile App to profile sex intercourses (Sex Profile: duration, rhythm & decibels)
  • Objectives: Educate about use of condoms,  changing the perception of discomfort
  • Prop value: Fun & games, trivia and competition
  • Channel:     QR codes on 50,000 condoms distributed, survey results published on a website Advertising billboards in the streets with most curious results to increase virality

The target audience is Swedish youngs in Stockholm, between the ages of 20-30 years. According to the LAFA (Stockholm County Aids Prevention Programme), youngster have recently became a little more careless in regular condom usage, causing a slight increase in AIDS cases. According to surveys, the issues is condoms are perceived as an inconvenience or a ‘awkward pause.’    LAFA, a no-profit organization,  decided to change this perception, linking the idea of safe sex and condoms to fun



Concept. The advertising agency Esther oversaw the distrubution of 50,000 condoms in places such as parks, festivals, concerts, cafes and bars, where many young people usually meet. This target displays a very high smartphone usage: each condom had a QR code on the package to stimulate download of a mobile app called the Sex Profile“. The‘application should be switched on during sex: first, it remembers users to wear a condom before starting, then it starts measuring intercourse parameters such as volume, duration and rhythm and it retrieves geo-localisation info. Users can then publish the “performance” on the campaign website, after having created their own profile. Here we have the creative part, the attributed used to profile people are quite original: age, hair color, mood, … allowing LAFA to create very fun aggregated statistics of all the app users. Interestingly, the condom, which is the problem, has became both the message and the campaign media.

Virality.  it is original so far, but the campaign masterpiece is how the creative agency leveraged the gathered statistics. Indeed,  Ester used them to put bollboarsd and panels all around Stockholm with original formulations of the aggregated results:  you could learn how many people used condoms nearby last weekend,  or that dog owners are “noisier” in sex than cat owners and that “restless brunette ar loosing speed” recently (pic above). These boards have pushed further viral traffic to the campaign site, increasing curiosity to download and to use the app. More importantly, the signs, published in youth gathering, have become a topic of conversation between partners to improve awareness and easeof condom use.

Results. According to LAFA, the campaign led young to more safe sex: the use of an irony improved  education about an issue usually difficult to communicate about. The campaign took place in the summer of 2011: thousands of  recorded user profiles and over 5900 performance recordings submitted on the web.  In a poll of users, LAFA claims that 39% of young people in Stockholm confirmed to have improved their perception of condoms with respect to before. Here, we do not discuss educational impact, but important marketing aspects to consider are:

  • the effectiveness of mobile marketing to convey marketing messages to youth users;
  • communication to young people requires fun and engagement;
  • the profiles are a key opporunity to exploit and mobile marketing does not stop with the app;
  • marketing for association can be highly innovative.

Published by Carlo Arioli