Jems wants seniors to be f#cking safe

Who: Jems Condoms, with Dentsu Creative for strategy and creative.

What: “F#cking Old,” a campaign that uses hard candies as a conversation-starter with seniors about sexual health and safety.

When & Where: The candies are available at the Jems site throughout April, STI Awareness Month, with a five-week paid social campaign to support.

Why: Jems positions itself as dedicated to “safe sex for all,” and that includes seniors—a demographic that has seen a worrying rise in STIs in the past decade. According to Jems, many seniors who start dating again after a long-term relationships ends aren’t aware of the STI risks. As a result, chlamydia rates for those 65 and older have risen by 267%, and gonorrhea is up 388% in the last decade.

The goal of “F#cking Old” is to encourage young people, who are (mostly) comfortable talking about safe sex, to have conversations with their grandparents about sexual health and condoms.

“Teens and their grandparents have a unique bond that’s built on nothing but love and openness, meaning no topic is off-limits,” said Rafik Belmesk, chief strategy officer at Dentsu Creative.  

How: The F#cking Old hard candies come in a whimsical-looking box wrapped with a conversation starter around safe sex. The candies come in four flavours: Bedroom Berry, Bawdy Banana, Pleasurable Pear and Sensual Strawberry.

“Every aspect of the design of this product has a purpose,” said Jordan Doucette, chief creative officer at Dentsu Creative. The boxes look innocent so they can be kept out in the open. “Open it up, however, and our fruit gets a little more risqué, each bringing a different aspect of the ‘sex talk’ to life.”

The candy boxes also come with a pack of Jems  condoms so that, as Jems explains on its site, “once they’re done unwrapping the candies, they can start wrapping up their own fruity tootsies.” The boxes sell for $25 with all proceeds going to Action Canada for Sexual Health & Rights.

In terms of awareness, Jems and Dentsu Creative are working with Jane Johanson, daughter of well-known Canadian sex expert and television personality Sue Johanson. “This campaign is about harnessing the power of Gen Z who talk about sex easily, and often over their vast social media networks, to bring that conversation to the older generation who often don’t understand their risks,” she said.

And we quote: “Ultimately, the candies are a sweet prompt to help bridge the gap and promote healthy sexual habits amongst seniors…  Instead of your grandma giving you a hard candy, this is a chance for you to give her one and ignite a conversation about sexual health and the spread of STIs, amongst a generation who is at risk.” —Whitney Geller and Yasemin Emory, co-founders of Jems

David Brown