Durex calls for condom emoji in new global campaign

Social media campaign urges people to use the #CondomEmoji hashtag

Durex - CondomEmoji - foiled condomThe same week Oxford Dictionaries named the “Tears of joy” emoji its word of the year for 2015, condom brand Durex has launched a global campaign calling for the creation of the world’s first official safe sex emoji.

Timed to coincide with World AIDS Day 2015 on Dec. 1, the campaign is asking people around the world to urge the Unicode Consortium to approve its condom emoji by using the hashtag #CondomEmoji in their social media postings.

The initiative is being supported by a humorous 90-second video showing how people currently use standard emojis like an eggplant, a peach, a donut etc. to suggest sexual activity.

People are being urged to share the video via their social media channels and use the dedicated hashtag to create awareness. Durex will use the social support it collects in its official submission for a condom emoji to the Unicode Consortium on World AIDS Day.

Lama Mansour, brand manager for Durex Canada in Mississauga, said a safe sex emoji would enable young people to overcome any embarrassment around the discussion of safe sex, as well as encourage conversation and raise awareness of the importance of condoms in protecting around sexually transmitted infections like HIV and AIDS.

Emojis are a critical communication tool for the 18-25 target audience for this campaign, with 80% of people surveyed by 3GEM in the U.K. saying they find it easier to express themselves using visual representations of words.

More than half of the people surveyed said they use emojis when discussing sex, while 84% of respondents said they feel more comfortable talking about sex using emojis.

The research also showed a disconnect between safe sex and sexually transmitted infections, with more than one third of respondents saying they don’t care about safe sex and nearly half indicating HIV would not impact them or their friends.

“Anything that encourages young people to incorporate safer sex into their lifestyles is a step in the right direction,” said Kyle Winters, vice-president and chief operating officer at the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research, in a release.


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