In a commercial for Trojan condoms that has its premiere tonight, women in a bar are surrounded by anthropomorphized, cellphone-toting pigs. One shuffles to the men’s room, where, after procuring a condom from a vending machine, he is transformed into a head-turner in his 20s. When he returns to the bar, a fetching blond who had been indifferent now smiles at him invitingly.
Directed by Phil Joanou (“State of Grace”), with special effects by the Stan Winston Studio (“Jurassic Park”), the commercial is entertaining. But it also has a message, spelled out at the end: “Evolve. Use a condom every time.”
The ad sounds pretty funny. Konagod tells us why Fox and CBS decided not to air the commercial (ABC has picked it up and it will air for the first time tonight):
CBS and FOX have rejected a new ad for Trojan condoms because of a focus on pregnancy prevention.
Representatives for both Fox and CBS confirmed that they had refused the ads, but declined to comment further.
In a written response to Trojan, though, Fox said that it had rejected the spot because, “Contraceptive advertising must stress health-related uses rather than the prevention of pregnancy.”
Sometimes the effort to avoid offending a segment of society is offensive in and of itself. I could go on a rant but this media critic summed up my feelings rather nicely:
“It’s so hypocritical for any network in this culture to go all puritanical on the subject of condom use when their programming is so salacious,” said Mark Crispin Miller, a media critic who teaches at New York University. “I mean, let’s get real here. Fox and CBS and all of them are in the business of nonstop soft porn, but God forbid we should use a condom in the pursuit of sexual pleasure.”
This attitude and reluctance to talk openly about safe sex affects teenagers at higher rates than anyone else. Teenagers just have fewer places to go for good information.
I’m going to start posting more condom ads here. Send them to your teenagers! They are, by and large, funny, informative, and attitude changing (i.e., they provide the perspective that normal people carry condoms). The first one is just below this post.