Banned Condom Ads in Tanzania: Have You Seen Them?

The city of Sydney, Australia, experienced a little — or perhaps giant — condom-related controversy earlier this month when an HIV-awareness organization installed an 18-meter tall pink prophylactic in Hyde Park. Displays like these, often designed to provoke, offer awareness and education. And since it’s the hands-on products that men use that will ultimately save theirs and their partners’ lives, being provocative in your ads can still be a good idea. Until it isn’t.

According to latest data, half of all condoms sold or distributed in Tanzania were under PSI/Tanzania’s brand name Salama – which translates literally as “safe.” In one study, 80 percent of villages in Tanzania had at least one location where Salama condoms were available. On top of that, “salama” is now the generic word for condom in Tanzania. But it wasn’t always a smooth ride to market leadership in condoms. A few years ago, PSI/Tanzania struck a nerve in Tanzania with this ad campaign for scented condoms, ads that were banned for being “too hot” for Tanzanian television. Thanks to YouTube, you can still check them out.

Strawberry-scented:

Banana-scented:

Chocolate-scented: 

PSI/Tanzania, established in 1993, builds trust in these products though cultural theater groups, mobile video shows and sensitization workshops. It complements those activities with commercial marketing strategies like these ads to promote Salama condoms and Care female condoms, especially to high-risk groups, such as truck drivers, commercial sex workers and other migrant populations. So what do you think? Too racy even for them?