Brand campaigns champion safe sex

Modern young people are smashing stigmas about sexuality, and opening doors to new methods of comprehensive sex education with it. Sexual wellness apps and online resources are making it easier for youth to find answers, and brands are helping to pick up the slack, too, by producing safe sex campaigns that are informative and entertaining, not judgmental.


In contrast to all of the digital-focused sex education tools available today, HIV charity (RED) is using the opposite of sex tech to promote safe sex by partnering with condom brand Durex. The collaboration, which will run for three years, is using singer Zara Larsson, actress Thandie Newton, and YouTuber Tyler Oakley to help spread its message across 15 countries—where the campaign is going by “Give A F**k” or “Have Sex, Save Lives.” In addition to donating $5 million, Durex is selling (RED) condoms; the funds go toward educating young women in South Africa on preventing HIV, AIDS, and unwanted pregnancies.


Fashion designer Alexander Wang created a limited edition collaboration with Trojan condoms to promote safe sex. The line included t-shirts, socks, a hat and bandana, and condoms—though no designer underwear—featuring a play on the designer’s name to remind people to “protect your wang.” The collab was launched on Wang’s Instagram and his flagship store in Soho, NYC during Pride Month last year and a portion of the proceeds were donated to the LGBT Center of New York.


Youth-focused entertainment brand MTV has its own international initiative to encourage HIV protection and sexual health called MTV Staying Alive. The brand launched a campaign with UK media agency PHD last summer, “Ride with Protection,” to encourage safe sex and healthy sexual and reproductive choices. With a week-long promotion in UK newspaper The Sun, the brand’s first national print campaign, 12 ad placements portrayed a young couple at a fairground making smart decisions, and features brand ambassador singer-songwriter Ella Eyre.

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