To condom, or not to condom… that is the question.
The Candies Foundation exists to educate America’s youth about the devastating consequences of teen pregnancy. Their approach is quite the opposite of Trojan (who coincidentally, would love to sell a bunch of condoms). Hmmmmmm.
Much of the world seems to be siding with Trojan’s approach. “Have sex… just be safe.” (an easy sell, mind you) USA Today even refused to post a full page ad for the Candies Foundation’s “America, Wake-up!” PSA campaign.
Ypulse.com chimed in on the issue on 10/29/08 with guest poster Libby Issendorf. She didn’t care for Candies’ PSA.
The ad doesn’t choose sides in the abstinence vs. contraceptives debate; it just presents pregnancy as the consequence of sex. This tactic might scare teens, but the ad won’t succeed without a viable solution to this fear. Candie’s needs to advocate a method of protection instead of preaching, “If you have sex, you’ll get pregnant!”
The way Jenny McCarthy pops in and the girl’s snobby attitude toward her turn Candie’s into a nagging parent. I half-expected her to add, “And clean your room, young lady!” before the commercial ended. Couple this tone with the unresolved scare tactic, and the commercial comes across as an empty threat that makes most teens roll their eyes.
I’m equally disappointed in the website.The first things to catch my eye are images of a lovely Jamie Lynn, a poised Bristol and Levi, and four teenage girls, two with bulging pregnant bellies, on a carefree stroll. The photos glamorize teen pregnancy more than condemn it, and the entire site is boring and unattractive. I can’t interact with it beyond joining a Facebook group, and the “tips for parents” section will make teens feel as though this isn’t their space.
In contrast to this lackluster effort, I love Trojan’s Evolve campaign that encourages teens to use a condom every time. The website is incredibly attractive and easy to use. My favorite part is the “donate 1,000,000 condoms” feature. Teens can take a quiz, comment, and pass videos on to friends. Then, for every action, Trojan donates condoms to Americans at risk. So cool!
Although Libby seems knowledgeable in marketing and teenage perception, I can’t say I agree with her knowledge about the spread of STDs. Her contention that “Candie’s needs to advocate a method of protection instead of preaching, ‘If you have sex, you’ll get pregnant!‘” reveals her bias. Libby obviously sees “protection” as the only option, since we live in a world that apparently just can’t wait for sex!
I’d like to Ask Libby a few questions:
1. What does Trojan provide to protect against a broken heart, seeing that eight out of ten first time teen sexual relationship last six months or less, and most teenagers who have sex, regret it later and wish they had waited?
2. How effective is a condom against chlamydia, which is one of the leading cause of sterility in women? Where are condoms in that assault?
3. What is the leading cause of cervical cancer in women? How effective are condoms against that?
4. Who are we to believe: a foundation that seems to care about the decisions teenagers are making? Or a condom company that wants to sell more condoms?