Today’s New York Times has an vaguely uncomfortable feeling article about Magnum condoms, the Trojan subbrand that “has been given an unsolicited lift by hip-hop artists,” prompting company execs to turn to Ludacris as a spokesperson and bad slow jams as their new ad campaign. You might call this the Cristal corollary. To wit:
At the center of the campaign is a contest, where participants go to MagnumLiveLarge.com to download base tracks, then record their own Magnum-themed lyrics and upload their entries. Visitors to the site will vote for their favorites, with the winner receiving $5,000 and a trip to Birthday Bash, a hip-hop festival on June 19 in Atlanta. At the show, the winner will be brought onstage by Ludacris and congratulated.
A quick listen at the website in question reveals a plethora of sub-R. Kelly bedroom stuff and a few tinny-sounding strip club anthems to choose from, should you happen to be a budding rapper and interested in making a new jingle for a condom company.
The Times doesn’t mention the famous Jay-Z v. Cristal showdown here, but there’s probably some element of that in Trojan’s thinking. Embrace rap, in other words, before a superstar decides to manufacture or partner with his own line of oversized (well, not really) prophylactics and shills for them in song, a la Jay’s Ace of Spades, Diddy’s Ciroc, or Ludacris’s own Conjure. Gawker thinks the whole thing is about stereotypes. We think it’s more about crowd-sourcing the next terrible Ludacris album, but either way, bad idea. Do people really still look back so fondly on this?