Sir Richard’s: The Philanthropic Prophylactic


Sir Richard’s Condoms is the TOMS of prophylactics. And no, it isn’t one of the multitude of brands founded by Virgin-in-chief Sir Richard Branson.

“We’re all for socially conscious companies, and we’re also all for getting laid,” says the Boulder, Colorado-based ethical (and vegan!) condom company, which donates one condom to a country in need for every one sold.

Its distinctive packaging at right isn’t the only appealing element of the brand, but also its humanitarian mission that safe sex is a basic human right. Its target audience: “discerning, responsible individuals who seek to align their purchases with the change they want to see in the world.” Hence the brand’s motto, “Doing good never felt better.” 

Their buy-one-give-one product is not, however, one-size-fits-all, with varieties including Pleasure Dots, Ultra Thin, Extra Large, Classic Ribbed, and a 3-Pack grab-bag, each of which is vegan-friendly and 100% natural latex.

To promote the philanthropic prophylactic, TDA Advertising and Design revived the oft-maligned 80’s accessory, the fanny pack, and placed special green packs on bikes strategically near Sir Richard’s retailers Walgreens and Whole Foods in N.Y., L.A., San Francisco and Boulder.[more]

A hang tag explains: “This is a complimentary fanny pack. When worn as a fashion accessory by a man, it makes for excellent birth control. No man has ever been seduced while wearing a fanny pack in the history of the fanny pack. In the event you prefer your birth control to involve actual intercourse, may we suggest Sir Richard’s Condoms.”

Another grassroots marketing effort for the brand targets commuter bikes as self-selective of active and socially, environmentally conscious consumers, while a US college marketing tour in a 1971 VW bus (dubbed the Lady Lucy, below) kicks off the week of September 12. (More evidence of its witty ways: Sir Richard’s student marketing reps are called envoys.)

Jonathan Schoenberg, creative director at TDA, tells MediaPost that Sir Richard’s is now available at Whole Foods stores, so local marketing offers a cost-effective “way to support certain regions…We have been advertising as we enter new markets, but have limited funds. The fanny packs are designed to support our national inclusion in Whole Foods with occasional mention of other retailers in specific cities.”

The brand is also available in boutiques and hotels including Paul Smith, Fred Segal, Viceroy and Wynn Hotels, and was the official condom at Bonaroo, Shecky’s and Pride Parades in San Diego, Boulder, and San Francisco. 

“Lots of people saw how we could do good in the world while building a more relevant condom company; there’s a huge shortage of condoms in developing countries, says Schoenberg to MediaPost. “We actually believe the condom market is ready for a new major brand that’s culturally and emotionally relevant,” citing an agency study that found 20% of condom users “Very Likely” to buy the brand over Trojan and Durex.

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