While people, organizations and superheroes around the world are preparing to take part in Earth Hour — an hour of darkness to raise awareness of climate change — tomorrow at 8:30pm local time, Durex condoms is taking the opportunity to encourage people to “reconnect” with each other whilst the lights are out.
As much as technology can help to bring people together, increasingly it seems to be keeping us apart — with people spending more time interacting with their devices than each other (the basis for Coke's clever "Social Media Guard" campaign), Durex is asking if gadgets and gizmos could be behind the fact that people are having 20 percent less sex than in 2000*.
"Earth Hour is a great, yet rare excuse for couples to give each other their undivided attention," said Aurore Trepo, marketing director at Durex USA. "And with recent survey research revealing our smartphones get more attention than our partners, we want to encourage all of America to turn off and get turned on for March 29."
The company points out that 20 percent of US 18- to 34-year-olds have admitted to having used a smartphone during sex (Harris Interactive) and Twitter users on average have shorter relationships than non-users (OK Cupid). And a recent poll for Durex (OnePoll) on the UK's sex life revealed shocking statistics: 12 percent of people have answered a phone during sex, one in ten had read a text and over 5 percent of respondents had even checked Facebook while making love.
“Durex believes nothing should get in the way of great sex,” the company said in a statement. “So let's log off and switch off. Escape the screen to embrace the dark. This Earth Hour, let's take the opportunity to reconnect while the lights are off.”
As a call to action, Durex has released a short film that follows the stories of several couples who, like many, have become distracted by the lure of a screen.
While Durex is cleverly using a good cause to encourage human "connection," the Center for Biological Diversity recently used romance to raise awareness for a good cause: The nonprofit took full advantage of the love in the air on Valentine’s Day by disseminating 4,000 free Endangered Species Condoms to eight of the most romantic getaway cities in North America. From Bar Harbor, Maine, to Santa Fe, N.M., the condoms were given away by volunteers to playfully raise awareness about how runaway human population growth is affecting endangered species around the globe.
*Source: The Lancet – UK adults between 2000 and 2010