Skyn Condoms

10 Sep

Time for another New Billboard Day and this one promises to be my sexiest yet. Yes, this entry is all about Skyn Condoms.

This campaign is particularly special because we get two different posters for the same product. The first was subtle, simply stating that “This changes everything,” with only the brand logo in the bottom corner. To the average time-poor consumer walking past, this would have most likely caused intrigue whilst not making clear what was actually being advertised. What followed a few weeks later was the announcement that Skyn Condoms were here and that they were made for people who “Love sex,” but “Hate condoms.” We in the industry call this type of creative delivery (where you initially hint at and then announce a product) a ‘tease and reveal’ campaign which seems more than a little appropriate given it’s a condom brand, I’m sure you’ll agree. Part of me hopes the joke wasn’t lost on the media agency that planned it and that I’m part of a select few marketing professionals who ‘get’ the gag, however I fear I may simply be giving this poster campaign too much thought.

The promise that a simple condom could literally change everything got me excited and I headed to my local Boots with visions of world peace and cures for cancer in mind; what I was instead met with was a vast array of male contraceptives. The Skyn condoms were easy enough to find amongst the multitude of brands on offer, Durex seems to boast the largest range with variants including ‘Extra Safe’ for the particularly cautious (or indeed violent), ‘Pleasuremax’ for those looking to excite and enhance and even one titled ‘Performa’ which showed a stopwatch on the packaging and includes a numbing gel in every one to help men last longer. Skyn, on the other hand, obviously feel that their USP of being made for the condom hating demographic (to use its official term which I’ve just coined) is enough to make them stand out from the crowd and, apart from ‘Extra Lubricated’ and ‘Long’ variants, don’t appear interested in anything else. The key difference offered by Skyn is that it’s the first premium condom made from Polyisoprene, described in the box’s leaflet as “the non-latex material that feels like nothing you’ve ever experienced.” For me, the packaging and font evoke imagery of limousines, rappers and VIP areas in douchebaggy nightclubs – clearly these aren’t to be wasted on just anyone.

Skyn Condoms were relatively hidden amongst the vast array of Durex variants.

However, the fact is that I’m currently single and don’t have anyone to use (or indeed waste) one on even if I wanted to. So, I did what any self respecting blogger would and approached Facebook asking if anyone would be interested in helping me out. Needless to say the limited feedback I received was ‘mixed’ at best and I soon realised that this article wouldn’t simply be me writing about coitus. To be honest, my parents and work colleagues read this blog too so it was never really my intention to write about my sex life, post pictures of me ‘on the job’ and post it all online – there are plenty of much bigger and better sites out there offering that sort of thing already anyway.

Somewhat surprisingly, my status update didn’t get any takers.

So instead, New Billboard Day proudly presents ‘The Top 10 Things To Do With A Skyn Condom (beyond having sex).’ Using only Skyn condoms, I’ve tried a variety of alternative uses for the condoms which are outlined below. In addition to an explanation of the new usage, I’ve also devised an ingenious 1- 10 scoring system which was the basis of each entry’s position in the list:

Fun: Condoms are normally used when you’re having fun, so how fun is this alternative use?
Practical: Condoms fit in your wallet and are easy enough to use. How practical is the alternative use in everyday life?
Changing everything: Apparently the release of Skyn Condoms ‘changes everything.’ How much changes as a result of the new way of using them?

10. Catapult

I’ve never been the kind to play practical jokes on people, mostly because the payback is usually worse than your initial effort and although you know your comeuppance is coming, you’re never entirely sure when which leads to sleepless nights and days filled with dread.

Even so, the catapult has been a practical joker’s staple since before even the first days of Dennis The Menace in The Beano so I waited by my window ready to slingshot a ball of tissue at my flatmate on his way home. It wasn’t successful.

Fun: Practical jokes are fun when they work, but if you’re just stood by your window waiting for someone and then can’t even do so much as getting a ball of tissue to hit them you’ve pretty much hit a new low – 1/10.
Practical: Although the condom didn’t need any modification, just using fingers as the rest of the apparatus took some significant finger strength which in the end was all in vain – 1/10.
Changing everything: Catapults have been around since the time of cavemen, and even in those days they at least worked – 1/10.

9. Mobile Phone Cover

We’ve all been there, you take your iPhone out of its case and inadvertently drop it leaving your previously swanky handset looking as though it’s been in shot by Mr. Freeze’s glacier gun. Well, no more thanks to the Skyn Mobile Phone Cover!

Simply place your handset into the condom and you’re sorted. Supports both traditional and touchscreen phones and is compatible with Android, iOS, Blackberry and even Windows operating systems!

Fun: Mobile phone covers can be a lot of fun, but with such a limited range of Skyn Condoms (there are currently no colour or flavour variations) it’s somewhat difficult to put your own personal touch on it as a phone cover – 4/10.
Practical: Amazingly enough my phone’s touchscreen did work once placed inside the condom. However, my friend was unable to hear me speak and once removed from the condom it took a lot of effort to remove the spermicide from the speaker – 3/10.
Changing everything: Go to any market, electronics shop or high street fashion chain and you’re likely to find mobile phone covers, the majority of which will do their job better than this – 1/10.

8. Trendy Sports Headband

Agassi, LeBron, Beckham… it can’t be a coincidence that all the top sport stars wear or have worn a headband at some point during their illustrious careers. Not wanting to miss out, I removed the length of a Skyn condom and placed the base around my head before going for a run in Hyde Park. The various stares I got must have been from people wondering if I too was a successful athlete.

Fun: Like sex, exercise releases endorphins in the brain to give a feeling of pleasure. Whilst the headband itself wasn’t fun, jogging was – 7/10.
Practical: Turning a condom into a headband takes a bit of effort with a pair of scissors. The average penis also isn’t quite as wide as my head, so after a few minutes my forehead started throbbing as the blood supply began to get cut off from the rest of my body – 1/10.
Changing everything: I certainly didn’t see anyone else with a similar headband, but whether using Polyisoprene as the material of choice actually made it better or indeed change anything is pretty unlikely – 1/10.

7. Ice Pack

Since running the Nike London 10k, I’ve been well and truly bitten by the bug and average around 12km each week in addition to attending spin classes and attempting free weights with limited success. But all this gym time can take its toll on my body and leave me in need of relief.

Introducing the Skyn Condoms Ice Pack. Simply fill a condom with ice (a minimum of 3 large cubes is recommended), tie in a knot and apply to the injury to alleviate pains such as backache, lumbago, muscle sprains and rheumatic pain.

Fun: There’s nothing fun about sports injuries but at least this helps alleviate the pain – 2/10.
Practical: As easy as filling up a condom with anything else, so long as you have ice cubes available – 7/10.
Changing everything: An ice pack is an ice pack, whether you put the ice in a cloth or a condom – 1/10.

6. Charity Wristband

There was a time during the early 2000’s when it seemed like every charity had produced a rubber wristband to help raise money and awareness of their noble cause. From Lance Armstrong and Nike fighting testicular cancer to Crafts’N’Scraps supporting animal shelters, wristbands were seen as a cheap way for supporters to show they were as chic as they were responsible.

10 years later and I reckon it could be time for the charity wristband to make a long-overdue return. So by removing the length of the condom and wrapping it around my wrist, I was able to make a bold statement as well as show off my fashion credentials. Trust me, everyone’s going to be wearing one of these come Christmas.

Fun: What isn’t fun about a bracelet? There’s a reason it’s mostly kids and teens that wear them – 9/10.
Practical: Once the initial adjustment had been made it was easy to slip on, if a little snug. Whilst it would be impossible to print the name of the charity on such a small (and slippery) surface, the band alone should speak for itself – 5/10.
Changing everything: Let’s be honest, charity wristbands are passé already. Whilst a new take on the classic charity band is long overdue, it’s hardly original – 1/10.

5. Change Purse

I currently have a hole in my jeans’ back pocket (I bought them like that and actually paid extra for the ‘destroyed’ look) meaning that I’ll often walk down the street to see my spare change rolling away infront of me. Rather than admitting to my mother than fashion these days makes no sense and getting her to sew it up, I instead used a Skyn Condom as a handy change purse.

Having ordered a Domino’s Pizza and paying online, I was still keen to give the delivery driver a tip for his troubles. Upon hearing the doorbell, I ran downstairs and gingerly pulled out my new change purse before placing a slippery yet sticky £1 coin into his unfortunately gloveless hand. Whilst I couldn’t see his reaction (he was still wearing his helmet), he did say thank you… Not only for the money but I hope for the ingenious device I’d just made him privy to.

Fun: Keeping hold of money is a serious business; look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves, after all. Even so, this is a different way of keeping money and I’d imagine a great ice breaker at any shop, market or back alley – 3/10.
Practical: As the condom itself is transparent, just by pulling it out of your pocket you can quickly get a gauge on whether you’re likely to have enough change for your purchase or whether you’re going to need to pull out the credit card again. Unfortunately the change you hand over will smell of lubricant – 6/10.
Changing everything: Change purses normally have a stigma attached to them as though they should only be used by the elderly. A condom change purse is certainly an original take and could help them permeate the cultural zeitgeist once and for all – 7/10.

4. Balloon

How many concerts or festivals have you been to where you’ve seen an inflated condom fly over your head and tapped around the venue like a massive game of beach volleyball? My answer would be about 5. But, if you were at Skrillex when he played Brixton Academy this year I hope you were able to count that in your own personal list.

Armed with a handful of Skyn Condoms, I inflated the first and chucked it into the crowd whilst quickly bringing my camera out of my pocket to capture the beautiful sight. Unfortunately I’d forgotten to charge the battery so had to rely on my awful HTC phone’s camera, hence the terrible image quality in the picture above. Whilst the first remained airborn for a few seconds, the second stayed above the mosh for nearly a minute at a massive 45 seconds. If there’s a record for airborne condoms, I hope I can at least be a challenger.

Fun: Who doesn’t love slapping away a potentially used condom at a gig? Based on the amount of gurning on show, most of the audience would have probably grinned their way through a full frontal lobotomy – 7/10.
Practical: It’s almost too easy to blow into a condom and tie a knot around it, even though I did get a lot of perplexed looks from pretty much everyone around me and a mouth full of spermicide – 8/10.
Changing everything: For as long as there are gigs, there will be condoms in the crowd – 1/10.

3. Egg Poacher

Eggs Benedict – a great dish to order in a restaurant but a nightmare to prepare at home. I’ve spent the last 8 years experimenting and researching the best way to poach an egg and to say results have been ‘poor’ would be an understatement.

I currently own 3 different devices which claim to poach the perfect egg but none have come close to the quality you find on Kings Road or Charlotte Street. To date my best results have come from tying the yolk into a cling film bag (imagine a goldfish you’d win at the fair) and tossing into a pan of boiling water (you should stop imagining the goldfish now). However, cling film is rarely used in my flat and that long roll is difficult to store, so why not give it a go with a condom instead?

Fun: I get a lot of enjoyment from cooking and I love a good Eggs Benedict – 7/10.
Practical: Trying to keep one hand in the condom to keep it open whilst using the other hand to crack the egg into it was pretty much impossible. I won’t lie, I didn’t dare eat the egg either although I must admit I’d cooked it to perfection – 7/10.
Changing everything: I’m still on the hunt for the perfect egg poacher and fear Skyn Condoms are not the answer – 3/10.

2. Furniture Stabiliser

I was recently in Paris catching up with an old friend at a lovely crêperie just off the Champs Élysées but the meal was almost ruined by a wobbly table. Try as we might to fix it, we had nothing to wedge an uneven leg and with the restaurant full and therefore unable to move us, we simply had to put up with the inconvenience. After saying our goodbyes, it was then that I thought a Skyn Condom could have done the trick and so tested the theory on my own wonky chair as soon as I got home with great success.

Fun: There’s nothing fun about uneven furniture, so while a condom can solve this problem it’s more of a hygiene factor in that it stops it being ‘not-fun’ rather than actually making a chair or table fun – 5/10.
Practical: Had I pulled the condom out in the restaurant and placed it under the table, I’d have been a hero. My friend would have been impressed, the meal would have been free, the restaurant probably would have named a dish after me and placed a plaque next to the offending table saying it was at this table that I sat. It doesn’t get any more practical than this – 10/10.
Changing everything: Uneven furniture can ruin a good meal, so in certain instances I would argue that this could indeed change a lot – if not everything – 6/10.

1. Water Balloon

Ah, the classic alternative use for a condom. Simply fill up with water and you have yourself a ready-made water balloon! I was amazed by how much the Polyisoprene could stretch and mildly terrified by how easily it burst. To be fair, if your pelvic thrusts are as fierce as the impact of concrete, you’re doing it wrong anyway.

Fun: There’s a reason they sell water balloons in toy shops, they’re made to be fun – 10/10.
Practical: As much as I wish this wasn’t the case, the Skyn condom made an excellent water balloon when dropped from a great height – 10/10.
Changing everything: How many times have you been caught short without a water balloon when you needed one most? With this first world problem now solved, I think you know what the score is – 10/10.

Got any other uses for condoms that you think I’ve missed? Fill in the comments section and let me know what else I could’ve done, I’d love to hear from you!


One Response to “Skyn Condoms”

  1. MATT September 11, 2012 at 10:19 am #

    This is genius Will! #MEGALOLZ

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