Church & Dwight Company, Inc.: Trojan Man campaign

Mariko Fujinaka


Until 2001 Carter Products Division, a division of Carter-Wallace, Inc., owned the world's largest condom brand, Trojan. Although the condom industry had enjoyed an increase in profits in the late 1980s and early 1990s, by the mid-1990s growth had stagnated. Carter Products hoped to regain customers and to attract new consumers for its Trojan brand with a humorous marketing approach. Public discussion of condoms had been discouraged because the subjects of sex and contraception were considered taboo, but Carter Products believed a lighthearted advertising touch would break through these barriers and make condoms accessible and acceptable. Hoping to make using condoms "cool" and eventually increase sales, Carter Products released its "Trojan Man" campaign.

Created by Carter Products' longtime ad agency, Bates USA, Inc., the "Trojan Man" campaign started with radio commercials in 1996 and expanded into the television arena in 1998. The campaign was financed with Carter Products' estimated $7 million annual advertising budget. In the commercials a superhero-like spokesperson known as Trojan Man showed up during intimate moments between couples or friends to offer Trojan condoms. The spots ended with the tagline "Trojan. America's #1 Condom. Trusted for over 80 years." The "Trojan Man" campaign began as a brand-enhancing endeavor, but in 1997 Carter Products geared it toward the introduction of new condom products. After Carter Products sold its Trojan brand to Church & Dwight Co. (the maker of Arm & Hammer baking soda) in 2001, similarly themed print, radio, Internet, and television advertisements featuring the horse-riding Trojan Man appeared until 2005. Hoping to appease networks that would in turn grant Trojan more airtime, Church & Dwight stopped using "Trojan Man" in favor of a more reverent campaign titled "Make a Difference."