Humble and Fred condoms keep Durex target covered



• Best use of radio

Agency/media company: M2 Universal Communications Management

Client: Durex

Brand: Durex Sheik

Media team: Tina Zrostek, manager, media planning David McDonald, group manager, radio & promotions

Media budget: less than $1 million

Media used: Radio, live events

Timing: Summer 2000


The objective of this campaign was to speak to the consumer in an engaging and relevant manner. M2 and Durex wanted to drive the positive controversy historically associated with the brand and create a personality via radio. The Sheik brand is well known in Canada, but Durex wanted to further raise awareness and break through the ‘condom clutter.’ Through product sampling and a long-term promotional presence on a highly-targeted radio station, it was believed that Sheik could build its reputation as the most fun and pleasurable condom.

M2 found itself up against significant hurdles: The budget was limited and the target demo was both hard to reach and constantly bombarded by lifestyle messaging. The timing of the campaign was an additional challenge, falling in the promotion-cluttered summer period.

Toronto radio station 102 The Edge was chosen for the campaign because of its prominence in the morning show market and the strong host personalities of Humble and Fred. The task was leveraging the already strong relationship between hosts and demo to the advantage of Durex.

Radio listeners in the target demo tend to treat their radio stations as a credible lifestyle enhancement and become excited about events or offers in which the station is involved. Radio personalities can achieve celebrity status in the minds of listeners, lending their influence and credibility to products and events as well.


To leverage the client’s radio spend, M2 introduced four-colour, station-specific condom wrappers featuring an image of Humble and Fred. The hope was that listeners would view the specialty condoms as cool and even keep them as collectibles. Special attention was paid to demographic and psychographic skew to ensure reach, based on both programming format and available research.

The Edge provided additional support with 30-second promotional spots featuring the specialty condoms. They continued this support every week for six months. In turn, Durex made its condoms available to listeners at every event where the station had a presence. The station also made the condoms available for pickup at the radio office and the street-front studio, as well as putting a vehicle on the streets of Toronto to promote sampling.


Durex has been pleased with the program and has developed a great relationship with The Edge, resulting in increased visibility via the station and its events.