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Behind the Campaign: the PR team behind Durex's vibrating underwear campaign talk buzz

Virgin Atlantic's head of PR Fay Burgin became the first person to give us a look 'Behind the Campaign' last month, when she spoke about the launch of Little Red – and having to ask Sir Richard Branson to flash his pants at us!

The feature returns this week with Lorraine Turley of Frank PR Australia, talking about the agency's recent work to announce Durex 'Fundawear' – underwear giving users the ability to 'touch' each other remotely in what was touted as 'the future of foreplay'. PRexamples contributor Inderdeep Gill wrote about the campaign here.

I'm sure you're all interested to find out more about the campaign, working with a fun and experimental brand such as Durex and the results achieved, so without further ado, here's senior account manager Lorraine:

lorraineturley frank prWorking on the Durex account has taken us to some weird and wonderful places in the past number of years, with buzzing brainstorms about vibrators, to tasting flavoured lubricants in respectful cafes, much to the amusement of the waiters and neighbouring tables. So there were no awkward moments when Durex approached Frank PR Australia with a campaign about vibrating underwear!

Fundawear is a Durexperiment – get it? A Durex experiment. The objective of the campaign was primarily one of brand awareness. Despite being the world’s no. 1 condom brand and a leader in markets such as UK, Durex is a challenger brand here in Australia. Durex wanted to raise its profile as an innovative, fun brand that fosters connections between people. Ultimately, Durex wanted the youths of Australia to stand proud (pun intended) and reach for Durex products from the shelf.

Naturally, the concept and innovation behind Fundawear is newsworthy in itself – a world-first technology, created in Australia that allows you to reach out and ‘touch your partner intimately over the internet’. But under the critical eye of the conservative media, the real challenge we were presented with was how to create that Harry met Sally moment, and encourage media to discuss and share the bottom line – sex.

First of all, we worked closely with Havas Worldwide, the creatives behind Fundawear to help create a compelling, media friendly video that would introduce Australians to Fundawear and had plenty of what we like to call ‘shareability’ As well as showcasing Fundawear, a call to action was key. Whilst Fundawear is a prototype, we wanted to provide one lucky couple the chance to trial Fundawear for themselves to encourage Australians to engage further with the campaign. The video (below) wraps with a nod to durexperiment.com where people can enter to win (winners will be chosen 22 May!)

Once we were satisfied that the video ticked the PR checklist, or had what Frank PR call ‘Makeability’, we created a media tool kit, to ensure the campaign had all the essentials to create ‘Public Reactions®’ (we love creating them so much we’ve registered the term!) Professional actors would quickly be dismissed by media as ambassadors for the campaign, so it was important for us to find a real couple who had a story to tell of their own. Along with credible relationship therapist and sex expert Dr Nikki Goldstein, the couple would act as ‘ambassadors’ for the campaign, creating exclusive photo-stories and interview opportunities where the video may not. The tool kit also included several pairs of the Fundawear prototype for media trial. It didn’t take us long to propose a list of journalists who were bound to ‘durexperiment’, but given Fundawear is currently in the prototype stage, these were contained to Australia, much to the disappointment of US, Germany, France, Sweden, Brazil, India and the many more international requests facilitated.

Working closely with Durex’s social and media agencies, the video was seeded online to create a groundswell of conversations about Fundawear before the story behind it was pushed out to wider media. The video – and the concept – took off immediately, capturing the attention of media worldwide.

We knew the campaign was a success when YouTube called a ‘301’ – capping the number of views until they investigated whether they were legit or whether there was some poor sod in the outback pressing refresh! The video started making appearances on Facebook pages world-wide and the views continued to grow as we counted 1million, 2 million, 3 million…

Within 48 hours, the video was sitting at 3million views and we had hit a major metropolitan newspaper across every state in Australia (and the UK where Durex is the market leader), with the resulting editorial exactly as we had anticipated – pun-tastic! In fact, the video became the number 1 most watched video in Australia in April.

The PR highlights? Sitting in studio with two radio jocks twitching in their seats, an interview with Perez Hilton, a coffee meeting that resulted in the entire cafe peering over our shoulders and one conservative running for the door, impressing ultimate tech geeks with a techno D-cup, but above all, setting the benchmark for our next Durexperiment…watch this space!

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Rich started PRexamples.com in January 2012. It has been named Vuelio's top PR blog. He runs consumer PR agency Radioactive PR, which has two offices in the UK. He also wrote 'Myths of PR', which went on to become Amazon's best-selling PR book within days of release. In March 2013, Rich co-founded blogger outreach service bloggabase.com. He tweets about PR stunts, campaigns and other media bits and pieces @RichLeighPR

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