Sex sells, no matter the demo

—Craig Redmond discovered two different brands presenting the amorous benefits of vaccination for two very different demographics—

The first time I ever set eyes on a Venn diagram was when a young, brilliantly insightful strategic planner, fresh from O&M London, was presenting at our global AT&T briefing in Hong Kong.

“What do you see?” he challenged, pointing menacingly at the intersecting circles.

Everyone looked around, hopelessly intimidated and confused. So, feeling compelled to respond and alleviate some of the tension, I defaulted to my always career-limiting liability of comic relief: “Cleavage!” I yelled out to a mixed reaction of creative department hysterics and a stern rebuke of silence from everyone else.

Fast forward a quarter century, and as I thought about what the Venn diagram might look like for the demographic overlap being considered for this peculiar story, I came to an eerily similar response—just several degrees south anatomically.

As the world crawls at an excruciatingly slow pace toward herd immunity, two very different brands recruited two very different generational segments to deliver one very similarly, clear incentive: Sex.

First comes Heineken with its cast of octogenarian Olympians, vaccine liberated from the coital confines of Covid captivity and free to pursue their pent-up passions.

“The Night is Young”

And then, right on their orthopedically enhanced Heineken heels, comes BLK, a dating app cousin of Tinder and Hinge dedicated to an African American audience.

BLK enlisted the help of hip-hop artists Juvenile, Mia X and Mannie Fresh to deliver a similar message to its young Black audience by re-recording the classic “Back that Thang Up” with the re-worked message to “Vax that Thang Up.”

And at one comedically cuckolding moment in the released video, we see a young woman wearing a T-shirt with the Saltpeter-laced warning, “No Vaxing. No Vucking”

“Vax That Thang Up”

To this day, I can’t look at Venn diagram without immaturely giggling to myself just a little. But hopefully, the one I’ve conjured up in the adolescent attic of my brain actually has some meaning. And that the shared sex strategy it illustrates works to convince Heineken drinkers and BLK users alike to perk up and get poked… hypodermically of course.

Craig Redmond is a creative leader with Palmer Stamnes and Co, an independent family of marketing communication companies.