In the run-up to World AIDS Day, Durex has joined the legion of other brands asking social media users asking slacktivists to share their brand in return for a tiny corporate donation. As I have written before, I don’t really like this tactic. But it must work, or people wouldn’t keep doing it.
Here’s what they want you to do: You choose an update from the campaign site, and click to share it through Twitter, Facebook, or Chinese social network renren.com. For each share, Durex will donate one condom to a “local charity” that helps prevent AIDS.
I’m not saying that the end does not justify the means. It’s a good thing to make condoms available to those who can’t afford to buy them (as many governments and NGOs already do). I just think it’s important to participate in these kinds of promotions with your eyes open to the fact that you are providing free media to a for-profit company.
Of course, advertising people love this kind of thing. Alasdair Graham, global ECD for Reckitt Benckiser at Havas Worldwide (creator of the campaign) told The Drum, “We really love this idea; it’s a perfect example of an idea entirely in harmony with the brand’s strategy. Not all brands can genuinely say they’re making a difference to people’s lives across the globe but Durex is certainly one that can.”
As long as you’re willing to share the branded message, that is. It couldn’t hurt, but I wonder if there aren’t better ways to help.