Iconic Ads: Kamasutra – The Pleasure of Making Love

Since it was a sexy condom, Lintas exploited this for brand name and also the tagline. It opened people’s minds about sex

In 1991, a Korean company wanted to manufacture condoms in India, partnering with Raymond. Gautam Singhania approached Alyque Padamsee at Lintas. He was impressed with the work that Lintas had done for Park Avenue.

Research showed that men saw condoms only as a means of family planning. They despised them as they found them to be badly made and an impediment while having sex. “Condoms! It’s dirty rubber!” Thanks to Nirodh, a thick, dirty rubber that was uncomfortable. A condom was the last thing they thought of when they wanted to have sex.

So Alyque suggested a sexy condom. “Let’s take a condom and make it sexy”, much to the consternation of everyone because no one thought a condom could be sexy.

The name “Kamasutra” was given since it was associated with the act of making love in our culture.

And Lintas collaborated with Raymond’s technical team to create a variety of condoms, including Ultra Thin, Dotted, and others. As a result, instead of being merely a utilitarian tool for family planning, the condom evolved into a lifestyle item.

They exploited the love and sex aspect since it was a sexy condom. The brand became associated with a man who provided intense sexual fulfilment. That’s how the tagline was created: “For the Pleasure of Making Love.” Thus the pleasure and safety was highlighted.

Shot by Prabuddha Dasgupta in Goa. Gautam suggested Pooja Bedi & Prabuddha suggested Marc Robinson. The print ads had stills of a man & woman in intimate positions but nothing vulgar or explicit.

Once the campaign was shot, many newspapers refused to carry the advertisements. An MP in the Lok Sabha said it was against Indian tradition to talk about sex so openly.

The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) called Alyque, saying: ‘Mr Padamsee, you got a meeting today, will you please attend it? We are talking about banning the KamaSutra ad’. So, he went to the meeting, and they all said: ‘Mr Padamsee, how can you say things like this in public? How can you say things like for the pleasure of making love?’
Alyque replied that a condom is for making love and “do you think it is for filling up with water and used as a water balloon during Holi!” There was dead silence after that and finally, the ASCI Chairman said, ‘Mr Padamsee, we will have a discussion and get back to you’. But they never got back to Alyque and Lintas continued the campaign.

The advertising budget was small, but thanks to the attention, KamaSutra became a national brand within six months. There were not enough supplies to meet demand across the country.

It opened people’s minds that there was nothing dirty about sex, there is no harm in talking about sex.

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