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Vendor campaigns stimulate sexual health awareness


Awareness around sexual health issues is building, and that’s thanks in large part to two venerable players in the market—Johnson & Johnson touting its K-Y line of personal lubricants and Church & Dwight promoting its prophylactic Trojan condoms.

Church & Dwight for the past year has been advocating the prevention of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted disease through its “Evolve” campaign in support of its Trojan condoms.

The campaign, developed by the Kaplan Thaler Group, the same agency that created the campaign for Aflac, emphasizes the use of condoms out of respect for the other partner. Earlier this year, it teamed its television ad spots with a Trojan Evolve bus tour that featured a 40-foot long interactive bus and 40-foot wide IMAX-style rollercoaster ride that visited more than 80 cities and colleges from April through November.

“The United States has the worst statistics on sexual disease of any developed nation on this earth,” said C&D chairman and chief executive officer Jim Craigie during an analyst presentation last month. “When two people in this country are having sex and they don’t know each other’s health history, one of them could have a disease and the only way to stop a disease other than abstinence…is a condom,” he said.

“Three-out-of-four times, people don’t use a condom.… Three-out-of-four times, they risk getting disease,” Craigie noted, adding that Trojan possesses a 75 percent market share in the condom business.

Church & Dwight’s business in male contraceptives also is growing at a faster rate as compared with the category; the company recorded growth of 2.5 percent with $200.5 million in sales across food, drug and mass outlets (minus Wal-Mart) for the 52 weeks ended Nov. 2, according to Information Resources Inc.

Overall, the category grew by 0.6 percent to $265.2 million. Sales of enhancement devices, such as vibrating rings and personal massagers, are up 27.2 percent to $7.6 million, with Durex leading the way with a 53.3 percent dollar share of the market, while sales of personal lubricants, dominated by J&J’s K-Y family of brands, are up 8.3 percent to $129.5 million.

Earlier this year, J&J launched its K-Y Yours and Mine lubricants that emphasize increased intimacy between couples as a route to improved health and well-being. Several nationally-televised commercials feature everyday married couples overcoming life’s challenges—raising a family, a hectic work schedule—through the aid of a personal lubricant, which appears to make an appeal more to the female consumer.

And while many retailers have experimented with the dual placement of intimate health products in feminine hygiene aisles in an effort to appeal more directly to female purchasers, some Wal-Mart stores have placed the entire family planning and intimate health sections outside of the nonprescription drug areas and in stores’ beauty sectors.

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