Sunday, 13 February 2011

Rubber sold

As anyone who works in the creative industry will tell you, inspiration can often strike when you least expect it. There's a reason why many advertising professionals sleep with a moleskine notebook on their bedside table - it enables them to instantly capture the outputs of their fevered dream-state, and it looks pretty cool.

Great ideas can't be hurried along, instead they tend to sneak up on you, like reality TV stars trying to gain access to the VIP area in a club. Take Beau Thompson, for instance, who found himself turning from architect to prophylactic entrepreneur courtesy of a late night trip to the end of his driveway.

Like many people before him, Thompson had always struggled with the process of applying a condom in the heat of the moment. Presumably, he missed the all-important sex-ed class where his fellow students were shown how to protect a banana from catching gonorrhoea. As a side note, placing a condom over your bananas can also prevent them from leaking ethylene and spoiling the other fruit in your bowl.

Poor Beau often found himself all fingers and thumbs when it came to safely sheathing his other pointy extremities. And after one particularly "rough night" decided that he needed to take matters into his own hands. It's a figure of speech, OK?

His Newtonion apple-drop epiphany came as he was taking out the trash: “I opened the Hefty Cinch Sak, grabbed the handles, and pulled them. In a day, I had figured out the best way to roll into a condom.” Now, users of the Sensis brand can simply take hold of the patented QuikStrip pull-tabs, and in a flash they'll be ready for their close-up.

The box even boasts that the condoms are "So easy to apply, you could do it blindfolded". Which must give kidnap victims no small amount of comfort.

The condoms have been commercially available for 12 months now, but Thompson is confident that they'll break through in 2011. Although not literally, since that would defeat the purpose.

The main obstacle to mass market penetration (oh, grow up), seems to be the less than erotic 'garbage' association. It probably doesn't help that desperate men have been known, on occasion, to appropriate trash bags for intimate moments when more conventional contraceptives have proved elusive.

Still, if he needs a marketing hook, he could do worse than a strapline that reads: "Stick your junk in a different kind of garbage bag." Like the product itself, it's not pretty, but it does the job.

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