Trojan Condoms and its brand extension, Magnum Condoms, "owns" the condom market. The company's market share is a whopping 75 percent, and Trojan's biggest competitor, Durex, is a distant second place, totaling just 14 percent of the overall share.
Magnum accounted for $51 million in sales over a year period, whereas the Durex's company sales totaled just over $39 million, according to research conducted by SymphonyIRI, a CPG, health care, and retail measurement firm.
Trojan's internal research shows that the Magnum brand is a top-selling condom for African-Americans, who account for 22 percent of overall condom sales in the United States.
With the lion's share of the market, Trojan decided to initiate a surprising yet smart marketing move by not resting on their past sales history and continuing to brand and advertise their products. Many companies in Trojan's position would have made the mistake of believing they were untouchable and reallocated resources to other efforts.
Whereas many brands simply strive to receive unsolicited media, Magnum has received a boost from hip-hop artists. Hip-hop artists such as Ludacris and Lil Wayne have endorsed Magnum Condoms in the lyrics of their songs. Trojan plans to play off this popularity and launch their first ad campaign, the "Magnum Live Large Project," which will run online, in print publications, and on the radio.
The print ads will feature Ludacris and will found in May's issue of Vibe and XXL and June's issue of The Source. The campaign will revolve around a contest that urges customers to go to MagnumLiveLarge.com and download background tracks. Contestants then are to modify the tracks by including their own Magnum lyrics and uploading their songs onto the site.
Visitors will be able to listen to the new tunes and vote for their favorites. Ludacris will award the winner a $5,000 prize, along with a trip to Atlanta's Birthday Bash hip-hop festival in June. Ludacris was chosen as the celebrity image for the campaign due his work promoting AIDS awareness via public service announcements.
Julian Long of Colangelo Synergy Marketing, the company behind the effort, outlined to The New York Times what they want.
“We’re not looking for jingles, or for people to make a commercial for Magnum," Long said matter-of-factly. "We want to give core consumers the opportunity to be involved."
"We’re looking for songs that encompass the Magnum lifestyle and what it means to live large -- not just the size of the condom or what it’s put on but what it means to live large across the board."
For a brand that was launched in 2001 and hasn't spent any money on advertising, the contest is perfect because it's under-the-radar advertising; it's masked as a celebration between the manufacturer and their enthusiasts. Magnum's consumers are encouraged to take part in promoting "their" brand, which ties in with the use of the brand name in hip-hop culture and perfectly with Ludacris' efforts to promote safe sex.
Rather than ads selling condoms, the executions are invitations for consumers to show their brand loyalty and creativity and share in the brand's success.