“Friday” inspiration #2: visualizing stories in condoms

Ok, I’m slightly late with the Friday inspiration post, because I submitted a major research project application yesterday and in the evening I went to the Helsinki Design Week opening party. The party was unforgettable, by the way! Met some cool people in a really cool location.

But anyway, moving on. When I went to Tokyo this August to co-organize a workshop with the University of Tokyo’s i.school I also stole some time to check out the Condomania store in Harajuku. Unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures, but instead I found these:


In case you don’t know, Rilakkuma is a Japanese character and people of all ages are nuts about him. And he is cool. But seeing him on a condom package was interesting…

Although the idea might at first sound a bit far out, I think it does make sense. In some weird way. Compare the condom package above with this one:

Looks a bit boring, right? The problem here is, as I see it, that you detach sexual intercourse from the rest of social interaction, whereas the Rilakkuma condoms help in maintaining this connection. So while the Magic condoms communicate things such as “fit”, “pleasure”, and “quality”, Rilakkuma condoms focus on matters such as “staying awake together”, “cute bears”, and so forth. While using the cute Rilakkuma bear in condoms might seem a bit odd, I think it definitely makes sense as people attach positive values to the brand and thus enabling them not to detach, but to integrate, sex into their everyday life. I’ve always felt that buying condoms in Finland is so boring because the packages don’t communicate anything interesting to me (marketing with high quality is a waste of time: condoms need to be of highest standard, no matter what), but in Condomania the whole shopping experience was so much fun!

Have a nice weekend! 🙂

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