LELO are launching a new re-engineered condom:
When we made a soft announcement on social media late last week, we got some startling responses. Are expectations around condoms really so low people no longer believe they can be improved?
Lelo announced on March 28th the summer launch of HEX™, the biggest advance in condom design since the reservoir tip, and people were divided; is it an elaborate April Fool’s hoax or a genuine innovative product?
Although lelocondoms.com has already acquired 25,000 subscribers since soft launching last week, Lelo received more than 200 personal emails asking whether the product was real, while social media was abuzz with claims of April Fools.
Now LELO is no stranger to pulling pranks at this time of year. You might have seen their GASM and DEXTRUS ‘product’ launches? But we were pretty shocked to discover peoples’ perceptions of condoms were in such a dire state that they couldn’t believe a condom upgrade could be genuine.
LELO HEX™ is coming this summer 2016 – for real! No joke!
It has been close to 70 years since the invention of the latex condom, followed by lubrication and the addition of the reservoir tip shortly after. Since then innovation appears to have stalled; beyond superficial additions like ribs, dots and flavors, or alternative materials like polyisoprene or polyurethane for the latex intolerant, the actual design of the condom remains as it was all those years ago.
Steve Thomson, Chief Marketing Officer at LELO, said:
“Customers simply don’t believe a better condom is possible now, as the April Fools comments showed, and that has terrible consequences in terms of reduced usage rates among young adults, which clearly have an impact on the spread of STIs. There have been too many false dawns, and the big condom brands seem content to maintain the status quo, or maybe they’ve lost hope as well. The fact is the condom industry drastically needs a shake up – and the only way to do that is through genuine innovation – to convince consumers the condom has changed for good!”
During the development of HEX™, LELO surveyed 10,000 customers and the most striking insight pointed to inertia in the condom industry today.
The LELO survey revealed:
· 86% of people have not changed their preferred brand of condoms in the past year
· Even though 71% of people do not like to use condoms
LELO interviewed several prominent experts to find out their opinions on condoms, innovation and the impact they have had on the world. They all resonated – to convince more people to wear condoms a genuine update to the current design is required.
Dr. Zhana Vrangalova PhD, a sex researcher, writer and professor at NYU in Human Sexuality says:
“We’ve had something that works reasonably well enough, so brands weren’t pushing to completely reinvent it, just improve on the existing models. For many people who do have easy access to condoms, a major reason for not using condoms, or not using them consistently, is the fact they don’t like them. Research finds many people feel that condoms take away from the physical sensations of sex which, in the heat of the moment, are prioritized over the potential for pregnancy or STIs.
“Our attitudes about sex and our habits and desires about sex have all shifted in a positive way since the condom was invented. There are countless innovations in the world of sexual pleasure, sex education, and sexual health, but the condom has remained basically the same.”
Dr. Sara Nasserzadeh, Chair of the Communication Committee at American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT), like LELO believes condoms have not kept up with the modern world and this lack of innovation contributes to the continuing decline of their use. She blames the lack of design on the decline of use in younger generations and says:
“I am not sure if [condoms] had smart enough design for the generation that is used to the slick design of smart phones, however knowing LELO and its innovative designers, I am hopeful.”
Cindy Gallop, respected feminist activist blames our business models for this lack of innovation. She says:
“Our society and business culture does not encourage people to innovate and disrupt in the area of sex. Society and business throw up huge obstacles for anyone trying to innovate… The major global condom manufacturers go to great lengths to ensure a virtual monopoly.”
“Given that LELO has pioneered new technology and combined it with incredible design, a condom from LELO feels like a very exciting proposition,” said Sex educator and activist, Tristan Taormino.
You can read the full interviews online and more information can be found at lelocondoms.com. By subscribing you will get sneak peaks and exclusive deals on the imminent launch.
Our world has changed. It’s about time the condom did too!
K&A : We love that LELO stay so mysterious before launching a product! Still not sure how the condoms will be set apart from the rest, but we’re incredibly excited for the launch, and no doubt they’ll be something to shout about.
It seems this product has been very well researched and planned out, so we’ll be excited to see if it truly changes perceptions of condoms. Keeping our eyes peeled, we’ll let you know when we know! Read the LELO BLOG for more about condoms.