Posted On Tuesday, June 26, 2012 at 08:27:18 AM
New Dehli: Deluxe Nirodh, a subsidised condom that originally began as a family planning measure under a government initiative, is now eyeing smaller cities and towns to save the brand’s fading face in a multi-million rupee market by repositioning the product with more “intense” advertisements – albeit not too sexual in content.
The move came after it was found that costlier condoms are cornering a major market share. “So, we plan to make the brand more visible and accessible in small cities through rebranding,” a senior technical expert from National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO), said. NACO is under the union health ministry.
According to NACO, while the market size for other condom brands grew by 45 per cent in 2007-09, Deluxe Nirodh climbed down by over four per cent in the same period. The brand has a 20 per cent share in a market dominated by Durex, Kamasutra, Manforce and Moods.
The commercial condom brands, packaged in variable flavours and features, are priced anywhere between Rs 100 and Rs 500 per pack, while Deluxe Nirodh costs Rs 3 for a packet of five. NACO has in its kitty three condom brands produced by state-run Hindustan Latex Limited (HLL).
“We supplied around 350 million condoms to the health ministry last year,” Rajesh Divakaran, deputy general manager (Communications), HLL Lifecare Limited, said. Nirodh, available free, was followed by the more contemporary, subsidised Deluxe Nirodh and Masti.
Deluxe Nirodh was launched as a low-priced lubricated male condom with triple protection for preventing unwanted pregnancy, HIV/ AIDS and sexually-transmitted diseases. The slow decline of these condoms began when the multinational brands positioned condoms as “pleasure enhancers”.
It was not just the depiction of steamy lovemaking on screen; the private brands hit it off because of huge investments on popularising them through chemists.
The government instead supplies its condoms through a chain of public health centres, social marketing organisations (SMOs) and through tea stalls, panwallas, bus terminals and kiosks in the remote and rural pockets. But the re-branding exercise, officials said, is unlikely to affect the cost.