'Trojan Man' Makes Way for Trolling Pigs

When will sleeping with someone you pick up in a bar be responsible?  When pigs fly.

The manufacturer of Trojans, the leading name in condoms, has rolled out a new ad campaign telling people to take responsibility for their actions with their sex partners, but the campaign also implies that it's acceptable to have promiscuous sex.

The campaign, called “Evolve,” claims to aim at making America into a sexually healthy nation.  The campaign's Web site states, “It's time we evolve…the way we take care of ourselves and our partners.  It's time we evolve...our ideas about sex and condom usage.  It's time we evolve…for a healthier sex life.  It's time we evolve…interested?” 

The commercial features a bar filled with attractive women and … pigs.  The pigs repeatedly approach the women only to be rejected.  Until, that is, one pig visits the condom machine in the men's restroom.  As the condom falls into the pig's hoof he morphs into a man, and the next woman he approaches welcomes him. 

Chief executive Linda Kaplan Thaler of the Kaplan Thaler Group, the agency that created the campaign, told the New York Times, “We have to change the perception that carrying a condom for women or men is a sign they're on the prowl and just want to have sex.” 

Good luck.

CBS and FOX declined to run the commercial.  According to the New York Times, CBS did not “find it appropriate for our network even with late-night-only restrictions.” 

Jim Daniels, vice president for marketing at Church & Dwight, the consumer products company that manufactures Trojan condoms, told the New York Times that “the pigs are a symbol of irresponsible sexual behavior, and are juxtaposed with the condom as a responsible symbol of respect for oneself and one's partner.”  The campaign's Web site also states, “Deciding to have sex with someone means asking yourself some heavy questions about trust, intimacy, and shared responsibility.”

Nowhere does the commercial deliver this message.  All it truly says is that carrying condoms will help men score.    

If Church & Dwight really wants to change public perceptions about people who carry condoms, they may want to find another approach. 

Colleen Raezler is a research assistant at the Culture and Media Institute, a division of the Media Research Center.