As attention across the world shifts to Brazil and the 2016 Olympics in Rio, Durex has picked its moment to raise awareness of the Zika virus and its risks - including its status as a sexually transmitted infection (STI).
The video announcing the campaign focuses on the power of sharing, including via social, but points out that some things are not so good to share. "Share the passion, share the joy; don’t share Zika," it states.
The campaign will provide direct support by handing out three million free condoms in Brazil.
"As the world’s number one sexual wellbeing brand we have a responsibility to make people aware of this STI, to help people to stay healthy and to prevent the sexual transmission of the virus," said Volker Sydow, Durex’s global director.
Durex’s global PR agency Premier developed the creative for the campaign, while the brand created the video in-house. The London comms firm has worked on projects for Durex for a couple of years, including last year’s call for an official safe-sex emoji. People were encouraged to share the hashtag #CondomEmoji on social, ahead of an official submission to the organisation that creates emojis, Unicode, on World Aids Day.
The aim to educate people about Zika comes as six firms agreed to stop claiming their products can protect individuals from the virus. Wildheart Outdoors, MosQUITo, iGear, Kenza, Mobile Pro and STAR all either removed their products online or agreed to change their advertising, after New York’s attorney general issued them letters accusing them of false advertising.
They were accused of "exploiting fears about a real public health crisis just to make a buck", according to BuzzFeed. The Centre for Disease Control says no vaccine currently exists to prevent Zika.