Exclusive | Skore's new initiative #CondomIsFashionable

Condoms are a taboo subject in India. It is often not talked about much in public places or even otherwise. However, off late marketers are upping the ante and launching bold campaigns.

It is a known fact that condoms are not creatively marketed. But in India, we have one brand, which has done a lot of innovative campaigns when it comes to promoting this product. From coming up with an App to locate the nearest store, to launching a book, to innovating a disposable pouch with a condom, this brand has been doing a lot of creative things in this space.

SKORE condoms, the well known youth condom brand recently conducted India’s first design contest and fashion show “SKORE Fashionista”. The glamorous event, intending to break the barriers of taboo towards condoms, brought together 36 teams comprising of 78 students from 11 institutes in the city to design and create chic costumes using SKORE condoms. Pearl Academy, INIFD and WLCI are some of the well-known institutes that are part of the event. Well known film personality, Mugdha Godse was the celebrity showstopper of the event, displaying condom wear designed by the students.

The first of its kind event in Mumbai was a blend of creativity, exchange of ideas, grooming talent and making a bold statement with condoms! Rotract Club of Bombay Film City (RCBF) worked alongside SKORE to spread the message across to the society.

Less known is the fact that the condom industry is divided into two parts, one is the social segment and the other is the commercial segment. While SKORE has a volume share of about 29million for the last quarter, it ranks number three in the commercial segment.

To know more about this social initiative we at Adgully caught up with Vishal Vyas, General Manager, Marketing, SKORE Condoms and Celebrity Fashion Designer, Amy Billimoria.

SKORE Condom Couture is one of SKORE’s whacky initiatives towards positioning itself as a brand that advocates safe sex in a fun and fashionable way. SKORE, comes from the house of TTK PROTECTIVE DEVICES LTD., the pioneers of the condom manufacturing and marketing in the country. With its catchy tag line ‘there’s a lot to be won’ the name ‘SKORE’ denotes the ‘number of adventurous encounters’ in bed and is designed to appeal to the youth.

When asked about this social initiative, Vyas said, “What we wanted to do is create a platform where we can normalize the word condom, and that's why condom is fashionable. We know and we have seen that when it comes to talking about condoms in India, there is a lot of resistance. People do not open up when talking about this subject. We wanted to make people comfortable and talk about it and not to shy away.”

He adds, “So when we were brainstorming about how to convey this message, a fashion show was the best idea that we came across and that's when we got in touch with all the fashion institutes to come up with a fashion show. It's the youth that is targeted, and when we went to colleges with this idea, all of them were very excited.”

He also said, “Ultimately it will make them comfortable and we are seeing that in colleges. Initially, when we went to colleges they were resistant about talking about condoms, but now, they're very comfortable and they openly talk about it. We wanted to normalize it.”

While there were other ideas as well, this one was the best to convey this social message. Vyas said, “We are taking initiatives in the direction of talking about condom as a product and not to shy away and we thought as a concept, what better way to show it that in a fashion show. We wanted to do something which is out of box, and not talk about normal sex education.” He adds, “​Secondly, we also have a range of vibrant coloured condoms and we could showcase that by wearing them and this would make the youth comfortable to talk about it.”

“While it's not about condoms; it’s about embarrassment about talking about it and buying condoms. So that was the whole idea of starting it. Like we wanted people to talk about it so we created a mobile store, an app so that people can go there and search for the nearest condom store. We also had an initiative where we came up with a condom book to increase awareness, so our stress is on creating awareness. So this is one initiative to reduce embarrassment,” he said.

Well we hope that the awareness increases after this fashion show. On a similar note Vyas adds, “We are hoping that it should increase the awareness because there is a lot of youth involved and they will obviously talk about this event.”

Speaking about his association with the Rotract Club and bringing Muga Godse on board Vyas said, “Rotract Club is one association, and we're happy that they came one board. We don't have any other associations for this event apart from them.” He adds, “We're happy that she is on board with us. More than condom, its the fashion element because of which we chose Mugda and we're glad that she is supporting us in this initiative.​”

While they have a lot of things planned for this year, Vyas couldn’t share much details with us.​ Indeed we are looking forward for a lot of things to happen.

“We want to grow in 2015 and see ourselves at a higher position,” he said.

When asked Amy Billimoria, Fashion Designer and one of the judges at the event, she said that, “I have always been a person who supports social initiatives and this is a fabulous idea. The concept of fashion and condom meeting on one platform is unique and commendable. Associating with a brand like SKORE for this event shows the responsibility one should have towards the country and its population by making masses aware of safe sex and other sexually transmitted diseases.”

On a concluding note, Vyas said, “SKORE is a brand that has always stood out for its innovation in the segment. The main idea behind associating with the students to conduct an event of this calibre is to make Condoms a fashion statement. In a country like India in which the society still shies away from talking about condoms in the open, our intention is to rationalize the stigma around condoms by generating interest around it just like any other consumer product.” By Archit Ambekar | Twitter: @aambarchit


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