Age Isobar, a Brazilian ad agency, came out with a crazy new ad campaign for one of its products, Olla condoms, this weekend. Olla found various user profiles on Facebook and created a profile of an imaginary son for each person, adding Junior to the person’s name. That profile then friend-requested the user, stating, “Avoid surprises like this one. Use Olla condoms.” While this is certainly a violation of a few of Facebook’s policies (see #4 for specifics), the campaign is certainly clever, while controversial.
As Olla explained in their video, “In their twenties, men like a lot of things. But there’s something most of them wouldn’t like very much.” With that line of thinking, Olla established themselves as a youthful brand, aimed specifically at a certain demographic of condom users. Having a baby might be a blessing to older people that may be having trouble conceiving, but Olla isn’t going for that market. By taking this route, they decided that people having casual sex should be the ones using their product, even if the idea of this ad campaign turns off a big section of potential users. By picking Facebook as the place to launch it, they chose a linchpin in most twenty-somethings’ lives.
While this campaign will surely be controversial not only for its abuse of Facebook policy but for its light-hearted take on unwanted pregnancy, free sex, abortion, and birth control, the direct integration of it within Facebook’s structure is rather brilliant. Instead of merely settling for an ad on the side of a page, which people may glance at but eventually ignore, Olla decided to dive into Facebook itself. By inserting Olla into friend requesting, one of the most common uses of Facebook, the team inserted its product into the actual Facebook experience, as opposed to being a bystander that resides just to the right of where the actual business is going down. This isn’t a thirty second commercial that people ignore before their video on Hulu; this is Liz Lemon and Jack Donaghy talking about Snapple for a whole scene on 30 Rock. I mean, I just wrote a whole piece on Olla, a condom company from Brazil. Brazilian condom companies don’t usually get a lot of space on this blog (although a “Brazilian Condom of the Week” feature could be a lot of fun, no?). Do you think that would’ve happened if they hadn’t launched this campaign? I don’t think so. Chalk that up as a win, regardless of the values associated.