Condom Ad Says Sex Is the Last Bastion of Intimacy in a Cold, Detached World

In SFW spot, Skyn shows our disconnected dystopia

You won’t see much skin in Sid Lee’s futuristic brand film for Skyn condoms. Sweaty bodies intertwined in the throes of passion are nowhere to be found.

Instead, we get a moody sci-fi scenario about the lack of meaningful connection in a technology-saturated age.

Our story opens on a young couple sharing an embrace — but the camera pulls back to reveal they’re paying more attention to their phones than each other.

Next, we’re treated to a most unsexy bedroom scene, with a romantic movie playing on late-night TV, but failing to inspire two viewers between the sheets. Later, club-goers glued to their personal screens or sheathed in VR headsets ignore each other and the tactile world around them.

How can we avoid this hands-off dystopian nightmare?

By using Skyn condoms, of course! The brand promises to “Save Intimacy” (the film’s title) by ensuring that we “Feel Everything” (its tagline).

“A look at intimacy and its evolution with the times evokes a harsh truth: We are having less sex than our previous generations and amidst the myriad behaviors and technologies that keep us in constant connection,” Sid Lee Paris account director Trisha Mitra tells Adweek.

“As we started deep diving into the different triggers and drivers of this intimacy paradox,” she says, “we knew that technology would be a good starting point in our quest to break down the different intimacy barriers distancing us from one another.”

Skewed reality and surreal imagery have become director Terence Neale’s trademarks, notably in his efforts for Adidas, including a spot that won a Grand Prix last year at Cannes. Here, he frames Skyn’s appeal in compellingly cinematic fashion without getting too far-fetched or flaky.

To some extent, we’re all screen jockeys these days, obsessed with the latest gadgets and vicarious experience, often at the expense of human interaction. (Even Skyn’s been sliding into tech these days.)

All of this makes the film’s cautionary message a perfect fit for the times.

“We had an ambitious message to get across and knew that we had to be bold and intriguing in how we told the story,” Mitra says. “Each scene in the film is centered around an ‘intimate barrier’ that the viewer will likely identify with, and we were looking for fun and creative ways to trigger an ah-ha moment.”

Client: Skyn
Chief Executive Officer: Jeyan Heper
Vice President Global Marketing: Matthew Groskorth
Head of Strategic Planning- Global Marketing: Marta Toth
Global Brand Marketing Manager: Nicolas Woussen

Agency: Sid Lee Paris
Chairman & Executive Creative Director: Sylvain Thirache
President: Johan Delpuech
Creative Directors: Céline & Clément Mornet-Landa
Managing Director: Mehdi Benali
Copywriter: Max Harrington
Art Director: Ludovic Gontrand
Account Director: Héloïse Marchal
Account Manager: Trisha Mitra
Head of Production: Thomas Laget
TV Producer: Marine Redon

Production: Insurrection
Director: Terence Neale
Director of Photography: Zack Spiger
Executive Producer: Mounia Mebarki
Line Producer: Elsa Rodach
Production Services: Family
Post-Production: Mathematic
Post-Producer: Julie Lagadec
Editor: Adriana Legay
Colorist: Laurent Ripoll

@DaveGian David Gianatasio is a longtime contributor to Adweek, where he has been a writer and editor for two decades. Previously serving as Adweek's New England bureau chief and web editor, he remains based in Boston.
Publish date: June 11, 2018 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT