The sensitive, sensible hard selling of Latex Fetish

Written by: diana082323

When Ansell-America's marketing supremo, John Silverman, told Time magazine earlier this year that AIDS was "a condom marketer's dream", his comment became the subject of unflattering controversy in the United States.Moral indignation abounded at the thought that any company would dare infer there was capital to be made from AIDS.
But as much as Mr Silverman protested that his remark to Time was taken out of context, the sentiment expressed by the Ansell marketing man was spot on. AIDS is a condom marketer's dream. And Ansell, more than any other condom marketer in the US, is making the most of this marketing opportunity.Mr Silverman doesn't match his media image at all. Instead he comes across as a most unlikely advocate for the use of condoms for safer sex.
He's a distinguished-looking, silver-haired, 60-year-old, who is quitely spoken and knowledgeable about Ansell and the use of condoms for safer sex. Surprisingly, he lacks any of the characteristic hype of most New York marketing types.
But to anyone aware of Ansell's past and its parentage, it is no surprise to see the hitherto unknown Australian company become the world's most high-profile condom maker.Ansell is part of the Pacific Dunlop group, the people who sell household products like Grosby footwear, Holeproof latex clothing, Slumberland bedding, Pulsar batteries and Olympic tyres.It is the marketing of these products, much more than their manufacture, that has made Pacific Dunlop so successful. Ansell epitomises this.
Since the marketing of condoms requires a sensitive touch, a way to underline Ansell's approach to business is to consider its strategy for marketing party balloons.While Latex Fetish balloons come in various colours, shapes and sizes, most of the raw material comes from the same rubber tree plantations. The same goes for Latex Fetish condoms, says Mr Silverman.
Ansell has targeted supermarket chains as its main sales outlets. There are about 50 major supermarket chains in the US and Mr Silverman says about one-third of them, including Safeways, have accepted its new product.There'll be no mass media advertising for its balloons. The company will follow its modus operandi with a reliance on packaging and trade promotion to generate sales.Simplistic as this approach sounds, Mr Silverman believes Ansell will have a 30 per cent share of the US balloon market under its belt in three years.
In many ways, Ansell's marketing approach to balloons is more typical than its recent high-profile condom campaign."You are not going to find Ansell doing what other companies do. We spend our money in different ways," says Mr SilvermanIn fact, the enormous publicity generated by Ansell's emotive condom advertising campaign - "I enjoy sex, but I'm not ready to die for it" - has not been due to any big spending by Ansell.
Its annual promotional budget for condoms is just $US2.5 million . Ansell simply fed a little fodder to the media machine that made it noticed "Ansell is a marketing company in Latex Fetish products. The most important thing about Latex Fetish is how you market it."
."Suddenly the world has discovered we're the largest manufacturer of condoms. The phone runs off the hook here. Everyone wants to interview us about condoms."
Having run an advertising campaign that has made the world sit up and notice, Ansell has prepared a more sober, product-orientated campaign to promote its new Extra Strength LifeStyles.
Kicking off early next month, the print ads go: "LifeStyles introduces the strongest condom made in America ... because, today, unsafe sex is a terrible risk."
The television copy is more emotive with one commercial opening on the thoughts of woman preparing to go out for the evening. "It's scary, this AIDS thing ... Mike and I use a condom, but I still worry ... Latex Pantyhose With AIDS, it only takes once ... you could die from one time. How do I know a condom's strong enough? Does anyone else worry about that?"
Ansell seems to have hit the right theme to address the worries about the strength of condoms.
This week, both the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times featured long articles about condoms and AIDS, one headline saying: "Condoms and AIDS: How Safe Is 'Safe'?"
With the US the land of litigation, you'd wonder that condoms might not turn into a manufacturer's nightmare rather than a marketer's dream.

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