Too sex-y for TV and too hot for Hoyts?

By AdNews | 4 December 2013

If you think of a typical condom ad you think of strategically placed cameras and suggestive bare skin near satin. All to a soundtrack of Barry White. And those ads are perfectly acceptable for TV broadcast.

But a Four Seasons ad making use of awkward humour and a stark depiction of condom use was knocked back by CAD for “sexual references”. Sexual references, in a condom ad.

The ad is designed to promote the company's Naked range and was written and directed by comedian Gary Eck (co-writer on Happy Feet 2 and Tropfest winner).

“The creative was also intended to run on free-to-air TV as a 30-second ad, however CAD knocked it back asking for the removal of all sexual references,” Four Seasons founder and managing director Graham Porter said.

“To connect with the younger demographic, you need to be irreverent and entertaining and to remove all sexual references in the TV ad defeats the purpose of this entire campaign. The fact is this is a critical safe sex message.”

The ad is now running in Hoyts cinemas before screenings of Jackass: Bad Grandpa, a comedy sure to attract a young, male audience. But it almost didn't make it onto the big screen. Hoyts was initially soft on the idea but found itself up for it when it re-examined the context.

“This is the start of a new marketing era for Four Seasons condoms as we look to really challenge the likes of Durex and Ansell in what is a very competitive category,” Porter added.

“The role of content is key to engaging our 16 to 24 audience and having Gary Eck build the Four Seasons story will provide the audience with some real comedic entertainment, but at the same time ensure that the Four Seasons brand really stands out and that our safe sex message cuts through.”

What do you think? Should the ad have been banned by CAD? Vote below.

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