Sexual Lubricant Research

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Sexual Lubricant Marketing Campaigns-Part 1

GetOnTop by Sustain Natural and Reasons to Celebrate by Durex are some award-winning marketing campaigns used in the sexual well-being space. While Sustain Natural's campaign targeted millennial women, Durex' marketing campaign enticed millennial and Gen X men in the Middle East.

GetOnTop by Sustain Natural

  • The #GetOnTop marketing campaign was created by Sustain Natural in 2016. Founded in 2014, Sustain Natural offers natural & organic condoms, lubricants, underwear, period cups, tampons, pads, and liners that are reportedly more vagina-friendly than traditional brands.
  • The on-going #GetOnTop campaign was first introduced during National Women's Health Week and has since emerged into a phenomenon and a social movement. Its call-to-action was for ladies to "prioritize their sexual health and well-being just as they would other aspects of their life."
  • The campaign began with a video that featured nine women with different careers - from fitness entrepreneurs to fashion mavericks - saying "let's talk about sex" and using the different words for "sex" such as "making love" and "getting laid." At the end of the video, these women urged viewers to take the pledge for safe sex on It was mentioned that one condom would be donated to a young woman in need, for every pledge.
  • It did not end there. In February 2018, the company launched a new campaign under the GetOnTop series. It was called Condom Culture and the aim was to encourage women to have more safe and pleasurable sex with less risk. For about 14 days in NYC, Sustain Natural put up outdoor ads urging passersby to wrap it up. The ads were "covered with thousands of condoms for the taking and once they were all removed, an ad revealed a series of playful/sexy images of what real, safe sex looks like." Sustain then donated about 50,000 condoms to Planned Parenthood of New York as part of the awareness campaign.
  • In March 2018, the founder of Sustain Natural, Meika Hollender published a book called Get On Top. The book is a sex-positive guide to sexual health aimed at millennials.
  • In April 2018, Sustain Natural introduced a brick-and mortar pop-up called Get On Top. The pop-up "brought the book to life by highlighting a different chapter each day (Periods, Pleasure, Consent, and so on) through curated events, panels and discussions." Porn stars, influencers, and well-known female entrepreneurs were invited to speak at this pop-up.
  • Based on the women in the video and the GetOnTop campaign website, it appears the target audience for this campaign is millennial women.
  • Through the campaign, Sustain Natural was able to donate more than $100,000 to women's reproductive health organizations. They also donated more than 1 million condoms to Planned Parenthood. Their outdoor campaign in NYC engaged with more than 100,000 New Yorkers about safe sex and had over 4 billion media and social impressions.
  • The campaign ended up winning a Silver Distinction in Social Movement from Shorty Social Good Awards.

Reasons to Celebrate by Durex

  • In 2018, Durex found that any mention of sex in the Middle East leads to negative reactions. The company also found that contraceptives could only be "advertised on highly-regulated social media channels" in this region.
  • In the same year, four Middle Eastern teams were expected to play at the 2018 FIFA World Cup for the first time. Durex discovered that countries playing in well-known sports often see an increase in new borns nine months later, since fans typically celebrate victories with sex.
  • Durex is considered the number one sexual wellbeing brand. It offers a wide range of sexual health products, including condoms and lubricants. Its condoms are reportedly tested by dermatologists.
  • To target millennial and Gen X men in the Middle East during the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Durex employed the help of Havas Worldwide. During the World Cup, fans in this region were urged to celebrate the wins, draws, losses, mind-blowing goals, red cards, and more with "cheeky new names for Durex Condoms" on Twitter.
  • Knowing that a lot of people in the region would have a second screen open during the games. Durex was live tweeting funny and lighthearted condom foil designs.
  • From "THE CROWD PLEASER condom, posted seconds after Mo Salah scored for Egypt, to THE DRAMATIST, as Brazilian Neymar overacted after a tackle, to THE EXTENDER as the semi-finals went into extra time, each post was accompanied by a caption leading directly to to purchase condoms - or the World Cup Celebration pack, containing condoms, lube and a roll-up football pitch bedspread."
  • The company partnered with the largest e-commerce site - - in the Middle East. This partnership allowed Durex to "drive themed Durex bundles for discreet purchase and delivery with every post."
  • Although Durex still faced some backlash from conservatives, its engagement rate surpassed Twitter's benchmarks by more than 900%. Its e-commerce sales in this region increased by 250% as well, while its offline retail sales in the region jumped by 28%. DurexArabia, the company's Twitter account for the Middle East saw a significant increase in its number of followers.
  • The Reasons to Celebrate campaign by Durex was awarded Gold at MENA Effies and Silver at Lynx 2018.

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Sexual Lubricant Marketing Campaigns-Part 2

Two campaigns that were conducted in the sexual well-being space were "The Condom Re-Engineered" which was carried out by LELO in their HEX condom launch, and a Chlamydia Screening campaign conducted in the UK by medical device giant BD in collaboration with a local sexual health provider named Conifer. LELO's campaign won PRWeek's Global Award for Healthcare in 2017 and BD's campaign won the PRCA's Social Media Campaign of the Year Award in 2019. More on these marketing campaigns can be found below.

The Condom Re-Engineered

Chlamydia Screening

  • Target audience:
    • The campaign was targeted at young adults and vulnerable groups in the area who may need information on Chlamydia screening.
  • Channels used:
  • Messaging approach:
    • The ads were made to come at the end of a popular show called Love Island.
    • It used common Love Island phrases and adapted them to the topic of sexual health.
    • They made other posts detailing what Chlamydia is and positioned the Conifer social media accounts as a space where young people could ask questions and order free testing kits.

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Sexual Lubricant Marketing Campaigns-Part 3

Durex's April Fool's campaign won the Best Content Marketing Campaign at the 2018 Performance Marketing Awards, and Always Come Prepared won PANAta Awards 2019, with the second-highest honor and three bronze awards.

April Fool's campaign

  • Durex is considered the number one sexual wellbeing brand in the UK and offers a wide range of sexual health products, including condoms and lubricants.
  • It accounted for 34% of the global branded condom market, making it the number-one condom brand in the world.
  • The 2018 digital marketing campaign objective was to further increase website traffic and build brand awareness. The unique campaign showcased a new product that later was revealed to be an April Fool’s hoax.
  • Durex's campaign collaborated with Summit Media, an online retail consultancy, to design and deliver the campaign.
  • At the time, Brexit was a core topic of conversation. The campaign featured three new best of British condom flavors and included product images, a blog post and a press release that was seeded out to over 100 high profile sites.
  • The range of products was designed to enhance the experience and protect adults, meaning the target of the campaign was directed at the mainstream adult audience.
  • Summit used Cision’s services in creating a list to gain the attention of high-profile journalists. The Drum, The Poke, and Creativepool are among the high-profile social media accounts garnered coverage.
  • The campaign also turned to meme across social media, gaining shares from celebrities including Ellie Young from ITV’s Ibiza Weekender.
  • In addition, the campaign won the Best Content Marketing Campaign at the 2018 Performance Marketing Awards.

Always Come Prepared

  • Durex, as the number one sexual wellbeing brand, conducted a campaign that amplifies the message of protecting one’s self from the threat of HIV and other sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs).
  • The mission of the campaign was educating on the relevance of proper protection.
  • The campaign used social media and celebrity influencers to help drive buzz on the advocacy.
  • It targeted millennials and Gen X people in the Philippines as a response to alarming numbers of HIV cases.
  • The campaign used "a quirky visual of a toy soldier using a condom as a parachute, and wanted to bring the conversation of the HIV threat into a more understandable level and easy to digest way for the general public, particularly among young adults."
  • It helped to relieve the stigma associated with discussing HIV, bringing out into the open discourses on what has been a taboo subject matter.
  • The Always Come Prepared campaign also bannered the trio of Boys Night Out — Sam YG, Toni Tony, and Slick Rick as campaign advocates.
  • #AlwaysComePrepared was executed in partnership with the Department of Health, as well as NGOs, such as UNAIDS and LoveYourself Foundation.
  • The campaign won PANAta Awards in 2019, with second-highest honor and three bronze awards.
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Sexual Wellbeing Cultural Conversation

The cultural conversations surrounding sexual lubricants and sexual wellbeing are defensive of the use of lube during sexual intercourse and frown on the public misconception that its use indicates incompetence.


  • The cultural conversations surrounding sexual lubricants and sexual wellbeing revolve around the public's mentality and approach to the use of lubricants during sexual intercourse, as well as its implications for the sexual wellbeing of women.
  • Some brands who are trying to promote their sexual lube products still have the common misconception that the use of lubricants indicates a sex life that is not entirely healthy.
  • The conversations also include the resistance of heterosexuals to the use of lubricants, as well as the fact that they are rarely depicted in popular culture. In the rare event where lubricants are introduced into popular culture, the context in which they are used is usually mocking.
  • For example, "Jonah Hill's character in the movie Superbad made fun of Michael Cera for carrying lube to a party, while popular celebrities Rihanna and Nicki Minaj boasted about not having to use lubes."
  • Based on the findings of a recent study by Durex, 73% of British women have experienced discomfort during sex. However, only 34% would be willing to use a lubricant even though 90% of them say that sex feels better when a lubricant is applied.
  • "Many young women don't know how they are expected to feel when they are having sex, or that discomfort or pain isn't normal, and this is a real problem." Most people would choose to do what they perceive to be normal, rather than what might make them feel better.
  • The study by Durex also revealed that just 57% of the men surveyed noticed when their female partners were in pain. On the other hand, most women are usually too embarrassed to express their discomfort due to a "pervasive notion that needing lube means they are sexually deficient, frigid, or menopausal." However, according to experts, this belief is a result of miseducation and misogyny.


  • The conversation of sexual lubricants and sexual wellbeing is being talked about by individuals, government organizations, the media, relationship experts, sex authors, and therapists, and industry professionals, among others.
  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), for example, recommends the use of lubricants in condoms.
  • Global Protection recently launched innovations in their condom and lubricant products' category to encourage people to use lubricants more often. Its senior director of brand strategy, Jared Maraio, said that the innovations are a "response to consumer feedback about comfort and other concerns. Because improved lubricants can help increase comfort, the innovation could encourage more condom use, which has overall public health implications."
  • Sexologist Megan Stubbs said that "there is no correlation between arousal and lubrication level."
  • Kate Moyle, a psychosexual and relationship therapist, said that "using lube isn't a bad thing, but it often feels like the idea of adding something else into your sex life can be thought of as an indicator that things aren't alright as they are, and this just isn't the case."
  • Tiffany Gaines, the co-founder of Lovability Inc., says that "lube often isn't being represented as the life-changing, empowering, and fabulous resource that it could be."


  • Conversations surrounding sexual lubricants and sexual wellbeing are taking place on social media, via interviews, in schools, and conferences.
  • "Astroglide, for instance, hosts biweekly Twitter sex education chats and recently launched a campaign tagged 'Life’s Too Short to Fake It.' The campaign aims at encouraging young women to take control of their sexual empowerment."
  • Twitter also features the use of several hashtags such as #SexLubricant, #lubricant, and #Lube, when having conversations surrounding sexual lubricants and sexual wellbeing.


  • Most conversations surrounding sexual lubricants and sexual wellbeing are defensive of the use of lube and frown at the mentality that the use of lube indicates incompetence.
  • They encourage frequent, and, if possible, everyday use of lubricants to promote sexual wellness.
  • It is also implied that the wrong perception of sexual lubricants has more adverse effects on women than men. As such, most conversations seek to encourage the use of the same to better the sexual wellbeing of women.

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Sexual Lubricant Consumer Insights

The notable consumer insights regarding the needs of consumers in the sexual lubricant space include lubricant products that are compatible, safe, with natural ingredients, and well packaged. Consumers of sexual lubricants also prefer discrete and safe delivery that e-commerce platforms offer compared to grocery stores, retail chains, and drug stores.

A Sexual Lubricant That Is Compatible, Safe, and Easy To Clean

  • A study by Grandview research established that a majority of sex lubricants consumers look for lubricants compatible with sex toys and latex condoms. This explains why water based sexual lubricant, which is compatible with latex condoms and sex toys accounts for 66.84% of the sexual lubricant global market.
  • Another major consumer need is that a sexual lubricant should be easy to clean and available at a lower cost. Because water based lubricants are easy to clean and available at a lower cost explains why it had the largest share segment in the sexual lubricant market in 2018.
  • Safety is of essence among sexual lubricant consumers, when choosing a lubricant, in this aspect, consumers look for a sexual lubricant that offers safety in terms of condom failure.

Sexual Lubricants with Natural Ingredients and Preservative-Free Products

Pretty and Well-Made Adult Products

Sexual Lubricants Consumers Are Proactive About Their Health

  • Consumers understand their bodies, and therefore, look for high quality products. More importantly, consumers’ quest for education continues to shape how they purchase sexual wellness products.
  • In the past, consumers were reactionary, which means that they would make purchases to satisfy their needs, this has changed over the years as consumers have become proactive about their health.
  • Sexual lubricants consumers want the same kind of ingredients found in other products they use in their bodies. With this in mind, the consumers of sexual lubricants prefer organic and vegan lubricants, which are often free from compounds that can cause yeasts infections.

Consumers Prefer Buying Sexual Lubricants through E-Commerce

  • A research by Grandview indicates that e-commerce held the largest market share of sexual lubricants' distribution in 2018. One aspect that has enabled e-commerce platforms to gain popularity among consumers is because they have the freedom to choose any lubricant from a range of products available under different brands.
  • This means that the consumers of sexual lubricants need their freedom when selecting a range of sexual lubricants products available.
  • The assurance of discrete and safe delivery is another outstanding aspect exhibited by the consumers of sexual lubricants. This further explains why e-commerce platforms have increased the purchases of sexual lubricants products and has competitive advantage over grocery stores, retail chains, and drug stores.

Research Strategy

The research team began this research by leveraging articles written by industry experts and which were readily available through their respective websites. Other than the articles by the industry experts, the research team also relied on different studies in the personal lubricant market. Both the articles found and studies conducted, were used to corroborate consumer insights regarding the needs of consumers in the sexual lubricant space.