If there’s one thing we can all agree on about condoms, its that their packaging is universally ugly. Whether or not you experience confusion at the multitude of brands, sizes and styles available, or any self-consioussness about the information your preferred phallic prophylactic may broadcast, surely the greater unease comes from rewarding horrible design with your purchasing dollar. Yes, Sensis introduced some better-than-average looking packaging last year, and there have been other attempts, most notably by New York City, to make condoms more appealing, but they have generally been novelty or specialty products.
Not any more.
A new condom brand has hit the market and embraced design in a big way. Sir Richard’s Condom Company is using attractive packaging and tongue-in-cheek advertising to make condoms, well, sexy again.
The good-looking wrappers come in color-coded boxes to match, each tricked out with some witty yet sobering details (for example they list their price as being $874 less than the the stroller you might need to buy if you forgo the safer-sex option).
Perhaps most notably, the for-profit company has adopted the altruistic model of Tom’s Shoes by donating one condom in developing countries for every condom it sells in the US. Recent studies estimate that free condoms only satisfy about 10% of the global demand. Condoms, of course, are a critical tool in preventing of HIV, AIDS and other STD transmission, not to mention unwanted pregnancy. They are especially needed in Haiti, Thailand, Sub-Saharan Africa and other regions where high infection rates, custom and social stigma have made these problems especially acute.