Forsman & Bodenfors gives Trojan extra credit in quirky new brand campaign

Who: Church & Dwight Canada (Trojan condoms), Forsman & Bodenfors Canada for creative, Eggplant Music & Sound and The Vanity. With Wavemaker Canada for media and Veritas for PR.

What: “& Chill,” a new brand campaign targeting young adults built around a 49-minute video that is nothing but credits, albeit with a few interesting detours and observations along the way. “[It’s] unlike anything Trojan Canada has done in the past,” says Greg Major, head of marketing for Church & Dwight.

It’s a nod to the popular “Netflix and chill” meme that has become a euphemism for sex in the streaming era (you can find an entire history of the expression, which dates back more than a decade, here).

When & Where: The digital campaign broke this week with paid social, as well as “& Chill” branding on Trojan’s new Amazon storefront. In addition to the main 49-minute ad, there is also a two-minute preview video, as well as 15-second and six-second teasers.

Why: Forsman & Bodenfors’ chief creative officer Matt Hassell says the campaign arose out of an agency discussion about how the Trojan brand could speak to contemporary audiences, with the understanding they’re not averse to advertising when it’s done well. “We know that they’re willing to look at an ad if there’s something in it for them,” he says.

The creative team did have some initial concerns that the “Netflix and chill” meme had lost some of its cultural cachet, but Hassell says preliminary research found that it continues to resonate with the target audience, even if they don’t use the expression personally. “The consensus was that it modernizes the brand… and it is a term [they] understand.”

How: It’s a simple but well-executed concept: an interminable credits list that’s not really meant to be watched, since people are theoretically engaged in the type of activity that commences once the credits start to roll.

For those who are reading along, however, the script does take a few humorous detours here and there—including a grocery list that includes “cat food for Pablo” and “carrots (baby and grown-up),” and a lengthy treatise about movie tropes like the inclusion of a quirky best friend in rom-coms.

The credits contain references to 13 Trojan SKUs, including Trojan Bareskin, Trojan G-Spot and the Trojan Power Wand.

“We wanted it to have a stream-of-consciousness vibe,” says Hassell. “It’s not designed to be read, but we know people are going to look up, and at those points we wanted to provide three things: product information, a little bit of health information and light entertainment.

The music from Toronto based Eggplant Music & Sound encompasses a variety of genres, beginning with a strong Game of Thrones feel but also adopting a 1980s action flick feel and even a fleeting reference to a ’50s alien invasion movie. “The music is such a key part,” says Hassell. “If everything goes according to plan, it will be the thing people remember most.”

About that script: It was 37 pages, 4,340 words and 20,622-characters (excluding spaces) long and it took several months to arrive at the final product. “I just said ‘I’m going to write for 48 minutes and see what comes out of it.’ We wanted it to feel like that,” says Hassell. “There’s some stuff in there where the mind is wandering.”

And we quote:  “The idea for this campaign is to encourage Canadians to Sexplore at Home with Trojan by giving those who celebrate sex a film dedicated to it. Trojan wants Canadians to stay sexually active only with people in their bubble, who they know are in good health. & Chill is an entertaining and fun tool that encourages people to do just that. It’s the background ambiance to help set the mood so Canadians and their partners can be the stars of the show.” —Greg Major, head of marketing, Church & Dwight Canada

“We asked ourselves, if Trojan made an epic movie what would it look like, and this is what we netted out on.” —Matt Hassell, chief creative officer Forsman & Bodenfors


Chris Powell