Marketing today: flying machines, trampolines and men in sperm costumes

  • 2008-10-01
  • By Kristina Pauksens

USING PROTECTION: The successful marketing by Baltijas Marketing Serviss has increased Durex's visibility.

All those fun events that entertain the public happen for a reason 's to sell you something. Sales is a big word. The marketing people don't just sell their product- they sell ideas. Sales-people want you to believe that their gizmo is fun, cool, reliable and so on. They want you to get a warm fuzzy feeling when you pick up a bottle of pickled gherkins and they will go to extraordinary lengths to achieve this, as we discover in our features.  Also, if you have ever wondered what the difference is between marketing and advertising, read on. The next time you see someone dressed up as a bun or condom or wearing nothing at all, running through the streets, just remember they are trying to sell you something. This week's Insider is about marketing.

RIGA - At the Red Bull Flugtag Challenge in Riga and Tallinn this summer contestants launched themselves in bizarre flying machines into the Daugava River and the Baltic Sea respectively.  Audiences were delighted by the spectacle.
A trampoline world-record-setting contest took place recently in a Vilnius Old Town square, hosted by Bite Telecom. 

Meanwhile costumed characters dressed as loaves of bread ran in the Riga Marathon as an advertisement for Hanzas Maiznica, its corporate sponsor..
Creative and non-traditional marketing projects targeted at young audiences have been an exciting innovation in the Baltic states in recent years. 
Companies have employed fascinating yet bizarre techniques to make their brand names well known and loved among their target audiences. The key idea behind advertising is to engage potential customers emotionally, leaving them with fond memories of the marketed brand and longing for more. While the goal hasn't changed, traditional methods of achieving it have gone out the window.

Today's audiences are "sick of traditional advertising. They will throw out flyers. You have to surprise. You have to make it fun," said Kristaps Tomsons, account manager at Baltijas Marketing Serviss.
Recent marketing activities in all three Baltic states have used creative techniques to appeal to a youth audience.

At the recent Student Paradise Party at Arena Riga, which featured bands like Tumsa, the Double-Faced Eels and Labveligais Tips, approximately 30 Durex Sperm Men 's yes, men dressed up as sperm 's ran through the crowds, shaking their long tails and posing for photos.
According to Eriks Fogels, a representative of Baltijas Marketing Serviss working to promote Durex condoms in Latvia, "emotions are very high when you are in this costume. … There are only positive emotions. Everyone wants to take pictures of you." As official photographer of the Durex Sperm Men at events in Latvia, Fogels has learned this from first-hand experience.

The Durex Sperm Man is an international symbol of the brand, but in most countries, Sperm Men only appear in groups of two or three at a time. For a more eye-catching and attention-grabbing marketing campaign, Baltijas Marketing Serviss hires 30 actors at a time to dress in sperm costumes and appear at an event. 

Being a Sperm Man can be taxing. "It is very important what the audience sees: Sperm Men have to be active all the time, [and] the audience cannot see them being tired," Fogels said. Tomsons added that the Durex Sperm Men in Latvia are encouraged to physically pick up girls for photographs, "to amaze and surprise them." 
The Sperm Men appear for only a short time at any given event. They arrive in a big "boom" of energy, but after about two hours they are gone, leaving the target audiences wanting more and looking forward to seeing them at the next event. According to Durex representatives, the timing is crucial; the Sperm Men must not remain at an event so long they become boring to audiences.