The Product

The product is a range of condoms launched under the brand umbrella of MR, the international makers of percolators and filter coffee. For the uninitiated few, condoms are thin sheaths made of rubber, vinyl or natural products, which may be treated with a spermicide for added protection. They are placed on the penis once it is erect. They prevent sperm from gaining access to female reproductive tract and prevent micro-organisms (STDs, including HBV and HIV/AIDS) from passing from one partner to another.

Advertising Objective

The advertising has to create the perception in the consumer’s mind that MR, as a company is a maker of quality products that ensure an enjoyable experience. At present, MR is a new entrée in this product category and so is not looking for generating increased market share through conversion of other contraceptive users, but is planning to convert current condom users to MR users. The advertising should thus be provocative in initiating trial and creating awareness of the existence of the product in the market. It is imperative to keep the key consumer benefits in mind when analysing the advertising objective.

Target Audience


Region: India, urban population
Occupation: Student, Service, working professional, self-employed
Gender: Male
Religion: Insignificant
Income:  Rs 1,20,000 p.a. (or at least Rs 60,000 p.a. disposable income)
Social class: Middle and upwards
Family life cycle: Young, unmarried/recently married with no/young children


Lifestyle: Average male, willing to experiment, with a sense of romance, looking out for ‘that little bit more’ from life.


Occasions: In anticipation of intercourse involving at least one male (all the same, target heterosexuals)
User status: Frequent user of product, first time user of brand.
Loyalty status: Not defined
Readiness Stage: Uninformed
Attitude toward product: Inquisitive (very!)
Attitude toward brand: Not defined though some associate it with the provocative and suggestive ads of MR Coffee between 1993 and 1995.

Current Perception

Brand MR

MR Coffee, which is trying to compete with instant coffees that dominate the Indian market, ran a controversial ad campaign showing a couple (Malaika Arora and Arbaaz Khan) under the sheets. The slogan was: "Real pleasure does not come in an instant." The company says sales doubled in the first six months.

They followed this up with an advertisement for a  ‘buy one, get one free’ promotional offer showing a young model in a bra that was made out of their colourful triple laminate packaging material for their filter coffee brand. She stands with arms wide-open saying – “Buy one, take home two!”

However, apart from the obvious perceptions in relation to their advertising, the brand itself does not have much recall today.


In India male condoms are seen as a method of pregnancy prevention - one that is not preferred compared to other methods, such as sterilization. At the national level condom use is 5%. A condom had always been perceived to be a hush-hush product, more talked about than seen, and certainly not one you could or should splash on the pages of all national newspapers and magazines. Its usage was advertised more as a necessity, like a medicine. Moreover, it was always regarded as a convenience tool, not as a means by which consumer should seek to enhance, their pleasure or get more intimate with one another. However, times have changed post the Lintas ads for Kamasutra, which were decidedly ‘bold and sexy’. The ads in question have been enclosed later.

(Nt - Ads are available on or you may contact me at

Key Consumer Benefits


Apart from the custom-made condoms, as of now MR’s variants are the form-fitting and the ultra-sensitive MR condom brands (which are differentiated by packaging colours) and the key variant which they want to highlight as a USP - the coffee-flavoured condom. The advertising (in the course of the campaign) should inform of all the four variants of condoms, but focus on the coffee-flavoured condom, as it shall serve to reinforce the brand image as one that makes products promising an enjoyable experience.


1. Coffee is psychologically associated with sexuality and is a stimulant -

No other substance can claim the equivalent for sexuality and lawful voluntary consumption as coffee. Alcohol doesn't even come in at a close second. Many would like to get one drunk on alcohol but ninety percent of the people on first meeting say; "Want to get a cup of coffee?" Coffee, scientifically, can be linked to improving both men's and women's sexual functionalities.

Physiological Effects of Caffeine - Caffeine increases the metabolic rate for an amount increase in caffeine. Caffeine also tends to wake a person up. It is a stimulant. Effects of caffeine on the body are generally immediate. It stimulates all the organs and tissues. They effect the CELLS (Caffeine increases the release from the adrenal glands of epinephrine and norepinephrine hormones, which also stimulate cell activity; BRAIN (Small amounts of caffeine stimulate the brain cells, helping to reduce drowsiness and fatigue); SKELETAL MUSCLES (Stimulation by caffeine improves their performance during exercise)

Subconsciously, one associates sensory perceptions such as smell and taste with the usual effects that go with them, especially if such effects are experienced over a period of time.

2. Increasing popularity of flavoured condoms

Even if one is sceptical about the research on the sexual connotations and associations of coffee, it is an undeniable fact illustrated through increasing sales figures that flavoured condoms in general are increasingly popular, irrespective of their connotations. This is more so with the changing perception and use of condoms as pleasure enhancing as opposed to only being a necessity and contraceptive. India is one of the largest producers of condoms in the world and the market leader Kamasutra comes in Strawberry and Banana flavoured perfume. Durex, a world leader, is available in Banana, Orange and Strawberry.


The market is categorised into four segments:

a) The privately-owned branded segment (like Kohinoor, Kamasutra, Durex, Moods and Adam);
b) Government-subsidised brands (Saajan, Masti and Zaroor);
c) Government-owned brands (Nirodh and Nirodh Deluxe) but manufactured by private or public sector units;
d) For exports – branded as well as international tenders; and
e) For imports.

Category ‘a’ above is our primary competition.

Apart from the dull government market, all the steamy television commercials and print campaign that we see are to gain market share in the private or commercial as well as government-subsidised branded condom market – a segment estimated to be in the region of 600 million pieces: 350 million pieces government-subsidised brands and 250 million pieces in respect of privately-owned ones.

Competition Advertising is enclosed in the document attached.

Tone and Manner

Follow the TTK LIG (Kohinoor parent) established successful strategy of ‘Making the rubber(s) exciting and desirable’. The MR brand image is bold, showing nudity in a new light and it would be desirable to follow up on that. The undeniable fact is – ‘SEX SELLS’.

The advertising should take care however, not to make the mistake of some of the current brands, which have very creative campaigns but low brand recall. Thus, focussing on the key benefits, the advertising should be substantially differentiable from the other brands.

Humour is another aspect, which could be captured in the tag lines. For example one could play with the clichéd line - "Would you like to come in for coffee?" or the more bold and punny “Get a head in life” or “If you haven’t tried our Condoms, get on with it!”

Do not be afraid to be provocative. On this one, let your mind go (and your body will follow!)

Aspect of Brand Personality

Personification – He is an adult male, playful, adventurous. He is a die-hard romantic and a success at relationships. He is fun loving, exciting company and an accessible and dependable friend.

Other Considerations

1) The campaign medium is three-fold -

· Standard size hoarding, which will be displayed in prominent locations in the cities.

· At least three unique creatives for print ads (colour) to be published in 100cc format in newspapers and also in full-page colour in magazines like India Today.

· One week post the hoardings, strong suggestions have been made by the client with regards to interest in buying space which will be taken in select metros in a national daily like The Times of India which will follow the ‘Whisper ultra’ launch model, consisting of a small flap in the inner pages which will contain a sample of the ‘coffee flavoured’ variety.

2) The key differentiator which is the primary means by which MR hopes to generate sales and gain market share is the condom vending machine. For the initial period, they have tied-up with ICICI and HDFC banks which have the largest ATM networks in the metros and are installing vending machines in the ATM booths with distribution progressively growing from the metros to other cities within the first year of launch. This should thus be adequately highlighted and visible somewhere in the campaign.

With regard to this, work on the premise that people normally hesitated purchasing condoms because they were embarrassed or felt shy whilst buying them from medical stores. The CVM solves that primary problem and thus generates huge potential.

3) Other recommendations –

· Create a unique identity - logo, name, thematic unity.

· Complement and reinforce behavioural change

· Highly visual, action-oriented, empowering, entertaining and non-preachy

· Ensure consistency of messages and repeated OTS (Opportunity To See)

Assignment done by -

Siddhartha Butalia
Dipti Chadha
Vipul Pare
Abhijit Lahiri
Aarthi N. - advertising related news, books and web resources.