When Stars Align: Durex and Lil Nas X

03/03/2022

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How did Durex achieve its highest ever engagement rate with one social media post?

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HITTING THE RIGHT NOTES

Durex, a leader in the UK and European condom markets, was looking to increase market awareness while centering its identity on embracing sexual fluidity and appealing to an audience that explicitly includes the LGBTQ community. 
Durex had been in talks with BEN for months to find opportunities at the intersection of fashion, music, pop culture, and the LGBTQ community to appeal to an audience of Gen Z and younger millennials. One artist already on BEN’s radar? American rapper Lil Nas X—a public figure known to defy gender norms and authentically express his sexuality.
BEN leveraged its connections with talent and music labels to nudge the stars into alignment. When the rapper’s label approached BEN with an opportunity for a customized integration in Lil Nas X’s “That’s What I Want” video, BEN knew this was the moment Durex was looking for to showcase its brand values while reaching its key audiences.

The Creator

An Organic Pairing

BEN knew Lil Nas X’s music video was a perfect chance to work with such a natural fit for the Durex brand—but they had to act fast due to the filming schedule. As a result,  Durex pivoted from its original long-term strategy planning to a much faster turnaround for activation. Within 24 hours, the Durex team had acquired the necessary approvals and given BEN the green light. 
BEN knew the campaign’s success would come from the authentic match between Lil Nas X and Durex’s identities—a connection the rapper himself built on organically when it came to how he incorporated the product into his music video. The initial idea was to feature a condom box in a locker and a wrapper on the floor. But Lil Nas X wanted to showcase the product in his own way: he decided to rip the condom open with his mouth, providing a memorable beauty shot of the product that aligned with his confident personality and style. 
BEN’s team knew the product would show up on screen best with Lil Nas X’s authenticity behind it. Durex trusted BEN, and the results quickly showed: The music video garnered more than 28 million YouTube views in the first 5 days.

From Fun to Funds

In addition to the organic nature of the partnership, the timing of the campaign also aligned to both the artist and the brand. 
Artists often look to BEN for brand support, as was the case with Lil Nas X. Lil Nas X was open to social collaboration with Durex, since his upcoming music video was set to drop in September—Sexual Health Awareness month. In authentically promoting the Durex brand, BEN knew Lil Nas X could create a social impact moment to raise awareness around the month and its importance to him with custom social content centered around inclusive and safe sex. 
On social media, the campaign was a knockout. Lil Nas X’s Durex Instagram post received 2 million likes—more than any other post on his album release day. It achieved more than 6 million organic social impressions in the first week and a 77% positive response rate. The campaign resulted in ample PR pickup and even a tweet from Andy Cohen that mentioned Durex. 
Even more importantly, BEN’s post-campaign research revealed that after watching Lil Nas X’s video, 74% of viewers age 18 to 24 stated that they would consider buying Durex the next time they shop for a condom.
In bringing Durex and Lil Nas X together, BEN facilitated a campaign that was effective and impactful, built on the trust that BEN could find the right moment for the brand to organically align with the perfect creator.

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28M+

YOUTUBE VIEWS
IN FIRST 5 DAYS

275K

ENGAGEMENTS

6M+

ORGANIC SOCIAL IMPRESSIONS IN
FIRST WEEK

77%

POSITIVE
RESPONSE RATE

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2M+

INSTAGRAM LIKES

Case Study at a Glance

COMPANY DESCRIPTION

Reckitt is more than a company. It’s a growing community of 40,000+ diverse, talented entrepreneurs—all driven to make the world a happier, healthier place. Drawing on each other’s skills and working together, we help make people feel better.

WHY BEN

Understood opportunities across fashion, music, pop culture, and the LGBTQ community to reach a target audience of Gen Z and younger millennials
Early access to music labels to facilitate authentic partnerships between brands and creators

THE BLUEPRINT

Customized product integration in the music video for American rapper Lil Nas X’s “That’s What I Want” 
Engaged Lil Nas X for additional promotion on his social channels

COMPANY LOCATION

New Jersey

FOUNDED

1915

THE PLATFORMS

YouTube, Instagram

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