“Let’s Get It On [Instagram]”

Why Trojan Brand Condoms should penetrate a new social platform.

Go into the bedside table, medicine cabinet, or jeans pocket of your average sexually-active human in the United States. You’ll probably find condoms. More often than not, those condoms will be Trojans.

Trojan remains on top of the contraceptives market, accounting for 70% of sales in recent estimates, followed by LifeStyles and Durex. Beyond market share, the brand also has some significant mind share: even though I’m a woman, when walking past the “family planning” aisle, I can’t escape hearing the jingle of “Trojan Man!” in my head — the side effect of preteen years absorbing commercials in between episodes of Room Raiders and Punk’d on MTV. It’s highly likely I knew the Trojan brand before I ever knew what sex was.

Adopting multiple channels to spread its messages of play and protection, Trojan’s marketing has been as effective as its namesake products. Outside of the bedroom, the brand has spread good vibes at events such as the Vans Warped Tour to 140 different colleges and universities around the country by way of the Trojan Sexual Health Report Card. Its initiatives toward educating people of all ages around safe sex have been consistently clever and very much kept up with the times. No stranger to social media, Trojan has Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter pages that are flush with relevant content for singles and couples looking for a #fridayfeeling any day of the week.

Whereas my all-nighters usually consist of coffee and Netflix.

If the popularity of shows like Lena Dunham’s Girls and songs like Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda” represent nothing else, women these days are more than open about sex — they’re outspoken about sex. Still, despite Trojan’s push to launch more condoms and complementary products (e.g. lubricants and vibrators) oriented around “her pleasure,” the brand media remains skewed toward the wants of the Y chromosome.

But really, what does “shaped for a woman’s pleasure” actually mean…?

Meanwhile, the competition is making moves on these modern, empowered women. As consciousness about environmental sustainability and about the safety of products we put onto and into our bodies reaches a climax, new brands are arousing a vocal following. The “green” Sustain (pictured below) and the feminist Lovability are performing quite well on a platform that Trojan has completely missed but should adopt: Instagram.

Sustaining the environment in tandem with a healthy sex life? It can be done.

Demographically-speaking, Instagram’s user base is right in Trojan’s sweet spot — 55% of users are between the ages of 18–29 and overindexing towards women. Moreover, Instagram is a superior platform for visual storytelling for lifestyle brands. Assuming tasteful execution, paid advertising would be perfect for Trojan’s cheeky video clips and clever print campaigns. An Instagram profile page would provide another touchpoint for users to get turned onto the brand, especially if they’re missing Trojan’s well-curated Twitter and Facebook content. Instagram also opens a world of possibilities for influencer marketing and user-generated content around Trojan and the causes it stands for in sexual education, health and wellbeing.

In order to protect its market leadership, Trojan must go beyond foreplay with contemporary women — it must work at achieving a genuine relationship with them. And there are few social media platforms as well-suited to this goal as Instagram.

Trojan: don’t let your social media strategy go soft. Let’s get it on, already. #nofilter

Curious about the implications of social media for “business” in my final semester of my MBA, I decided to enroll in a class called “Social Media Management.” This is the second of ten posts I am writing as a part of this course analyzing the past, present, and future of social media.