Magnum Condoms Embrace Hip-Hop, Encourage Consumers to Make Bad Rap


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 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?

A Hip-Hop Contest to Promote a Brand [NYT]

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