Durex Vietnam: "We are bold and saucy but never in bad taste regarding the Vietnamese culture"

(This article is also available in Vietnamese)

As one of the leading brands in the condom market, Durex, owned by Reckitt (UK), claims the spotlight whenever a new ad is released. Transcending commercial purposes, Durex also promotes the destigmatization of supposedly sensitive topics in Asian countries, including Vietnam. 

Advertising Vietnam had the opportunity to discuss the brand's positioning and long-term mission with Mr. Nguyen Phi Hung, Senior Brand Manager at Durex Vietnam

Hello Mr. Hung. Thank you for giving Advertising Vietnam a closer look at what Durex has been doing to conquer the Vietnamese market. What are some challenges when marketing products in Vietnam?

The biggest challenge Durex faces operating in Vietnam is the condom industry's low market penetration level (19%), similar to that of other Asian countries. The Eastern ideology, however, still considers conversations about sex taboo. 

Nevertheless, we do not see it as a barrier or difficulty but the golden chance to localize and personalize our marketing strategies, and in doing so, create a safe space for consumers to share their concerns and understand the importance of condoms and lubes in their sexual well-being. 

We also recognize the great potentials of the industry in Vietnam. Vietnam's large young population has formed a strong relationship with our dynamic, stylish, adventurous yet trustworthy Durex brand. Moreover, Vietnamese consumers are becoming increasingly interested in sexual well-being products in their lives (not only condoms but lubricants and other products). With 90 years of experience, Durex is constantly enhancing and diversifying our products to meet the demands of consumers and conquer this fast-growing market.

What are Durex's competitive advantages?

Recently, an upsurge in the number of domestic and global players in the Vietnamese condom market has created fierce competition. To strategically expanding its market share, Durex is leveraging its 3 sustainable competitive advantages, including: 

1, Being the world's biggest condoms and lubricants brand, recognized in more than 40 countries. In Vietnam, Durex has become a top-of-mind brand when it comes to condoms and lubrication products. As the industry leader, Durex actively promotes sex education with content and influencer partnerships to deliver open and helpful content to younger audiences.

2, Over 90 years of experience in refining customer experience and becoming the go-to brand for reliable products. Working closely with experts during the R&D process, Durex put great emphasis on product quality: 100% of condoms are electrically tested, and each batch has to go through 5 quality tests. Moreover, Durex's condoms are dermatologically tested to ensure a high level of protection while satisfying different sexual needs of consumers.

3, A nationwide distribution system. One of the most common causes of unsafe sex is the unavailability of products or inconveniences in purchasing. Therefore, Durex distributes its products including general and modern trade, from supermarkets, pharmacies to eCommerce platforms, mother and baby stores, and drugstore chains, making sure they are readily available and easily accessible to a wide range of customers. With Durex's strong presence on e-commerce channels, consumers can be saved from the shame of buying condoms in physical stores.

Can you share some highlights about Durex's unique marketing strategy? What is it that sets Durex aside?

Positioned as "The mainstream activist showcasing the "positive reality" of sex", Durex identifies 2 primary customer segments:


• The POME group (Point of market entry): customers who have never had sex or have already had sex without condoms, aged 18-24.

• The Core users: customers under 45 who are the most active in sex.

At Durex, consumers and their respective cultures are put at the very core of the brand's philosophy. Desktop research, focus group discussions, in-depth interviews and social listening tools are utilized to understand consumers. Durex also rides the technology waves, actively keeping itself updated on new trends, changes in consumer behaviors, and social networks.

How does Durex help to normalize sensitive topics to deliver appealing, genuine content without being crude? 

For the condom industry, there is always a fine line between conveying positive messages and merely being offensive or ridiculous. At Durex, we choose an honest, relatable approach and avoid confusing or misleading consumers.  

Consumers can see positivity and inclusion (of different sexual orientations and preferences) in our ads. At times, Durex likes to be bold and saucy, but never in bad taste regarding the Vietnamese culture.

It can also be seen that Vietnam is one of the pioneering markets in using Podcasts for sex education. Therefore, Durex has cooperated with several content production partners to promote practical and valuable educational content to young people.

Durex's sex education program with Ba Con Soi generates conversations for young people to learn about safe sex.

It wouldn't be an overstatement to say that Durex is the master of marketing taboo topics on social media. What is the key to showcasing the brand's unique personality on social media?

Social media plays a pivotal role in Durex's marketing strategy. Social channels greatly assist in ensuring the brand's presence, influencing customers' selection process, and increasing brand love. More importantly, by staying connected with customers on social networks, Durex can listen to their concerns to constantly better our products and services. 


Durex's latest campaign, "Durex Jeans", is garnering a lot of attention from young people. Can you share the context, execution, and results of this successful campaign?

In April 2021, Durex launched a new product line called Durex Jeans in Vietnam. Previously, the "Durex Jeans" campaign made a huge splash in the Indian market in 2017 when our brand announced that we would make jeans but launched a new product line instead. Bringing this campaign to Vietnam this year, the most significant difference is that we respect the Vietnamese culture and make sure it is reflected in our marketing strategy.

"Safe sex education for young people" series:

For the Durex Jeans campaign, we have co-organized a series of activities named "Safe sex education for young people" at universities, pioneering in raising awareness about safe sex in young people.

The program centers around 3 topics: Contraception, Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs), and Condoms to reach 10 million young people.

A talk on sex education at International University (IU).

Deliver creative content on social media:

Besides numerous activations, Durex also focuses on creating trendy, entertaining content on social media to generate positive interaction from young people: 


Yeu vo lo voi DUREX JEANS.


Showcasing the functionality of Durex Jeans in a subtle wordplay

Using trendy phrases to generate conversations

As a result of the brand's relentless efforts, Durex Jeans achieved a share of voice of 80%, quickly rolling out to 70% of Durex's distribution units in just 2 months since launch.

When the pandemic situation is under control and normalcy comes back, Durex hopes the school tour and the cooperation program with the Vietnam Administration for HIV/AIDS Control (VAAC) can continue, spreading more positive messages.

Thank you for sharing about Durex Vietnam's marketing strategy with Advertising Vietnam!

Publisher: Advertising Vietnam

Content: Hiền Phương

Design: Đạt Đặng

Durex Vietnam: "We are bold and saucy but never in bad taste regarding the Vietnamese culture"

Hiền Phương

Hiền Phương

Content Writer | Advertising Vietnam

06 Thg 08 2021


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