How Durex created a movement among young people in Saudi Arabia

Durex’s smart collaboration with VICE Arabia to set up a record label in Saudi Arabia has won it a prestigious silver Effie award, and plenty of new fans.

Saudi Arabia is known for being conservative, creating a challenge for Reckitt-owned Durex, a leader in the personal care market. Contraceptives are still a taboo subject in the Kingdom so Durex saw an opportunity in 2022 to get creative.

In partnership with VICE Arabia, Durex Records (or Tasjeelat Durex as it is known in Arabic) was created to make the brand culturally relevant to the region’s youth and raise brand awareness.

Durex Records not only successfully set up a platform for the thriving Arabic hip-hop movement and showcased the work of numerous gifted artists, but the record label has since gone from strength to strength, giving an unfiltered voice to a wide variety of Saudi artists.

What raised the venture to an even higher level was Durex Records’ partnership with Anghami, a top music streaming app in the Middle East. Together they created five original tracks and music videos featuring seven diverse talents.

The videos featured user-generated sounds which added authenticity, and were shot in vibrant public locations settings to promote self-expression within the region’s culture. The result was a custom-made Durex Records playlist which increased artists’ exposure and the clever rapid-fire interviews and a launch party helped strengthen the connection between artists and fans.

Durex also hosted a party that helped that created a new platform for the brand and fans to comer together. Here is the Playlist link for all songs.

Püren Güzel Kırçay, Marketing Manager at Reckitt said: “Durex Records has evolved beyond a mere music label; it’s now a movement. In a region shaped by censorship and conservative norms, the leading sexual health brand courageously engaged in conversations, challenging cultural boundaries and empowering Saudi youth. Delighted that Effie’s acknowledged the campaign’s innovative approach, reinforcing Durex’s commitment to fostering progressive dialogues about sex in the region.”

Durex’s mission is to empower individuals to express their authentic selves, while incorporating elements and sounds unique to each artist’s hometown. The record label has established Durex as a key player in inspiring discussions about culture, identity and music, spotlighting artists who advocate progressive ideas through their musical talents.

Carla Dabis, Commercial Director MEA at VICE Media said, “Our Durex Records campaign is a great example of how VICE works with brands on creative and innovative campaigns that engage our audience in a tangible way and challenge the status quo. With Durex Records, we used music to unlock conversations with our audience around contraception, removing the stigma and putting a spotlight on sex and sexual wellness through the lens of self-expression.”

Indeed, Durex is helping to liberate, educate and equip Arab Youth to be their true self and its music venture taps into an incredible intersection of youth culture, musical insight and the magic of content.

Durex records awon a silver Effie in the Media Innovation – Existing Channels category. What was remarkable was that the campaign was the first time Durex had created such work for Arab youth.

The overall campaign’s figures speak for themselves. Durex Records led to an impressive 184 BPS increase in market share gain, and a whopping total campaign reach of 25 million. Brand awareness rose along with action intent. For the target market of 18-to-25 year olds, there was a massive 48 per cent rise in view through rates (VTRs). And on social media, there was a gain of 22,000 Instagram followers (110 per cent growth) and 1.2 million TikTok organic reach. The campaign diagnostics showed that the concept stood out as being unique, relatable and stirring the right emotions.

Positive feedback was shown for Durex Records for reflecting a new generation, having content people will talk about and catching people’s attention. In a smart pivot for the brand, Durex Records has evolved to become not just a record label but a movement itself

Durex as a brand has clearly shown that it isn’t afraid to explore new territories, and knows how to pick the right partners for such an innovative project.