Why does Crown always win your annual world's best condom competition? Why are so many of the top rated condoms, like Crown, Japanese?
The Japanese are ahead of the game in terms of technology. They are just making condoms super thin and that's really all most people look for in a condom. They want it to feel like they are wearing nothing.
A few companies sell thicker condoms. Are thicker condoms more durable or resistant to breaking?
No. Most condoms are the same strength despite their thickness. Bill Gates is funding a contest for inventors to redesign the condom. He's going to get a ton of ideas that are out in left field. There's a reason condoms haven't changed in forever. They are simple and there's not really a reason to change them. Most companies offer ultra thin condoms. Some also come out with thicker condoms to sell to that demographic of guys who are scared of condoms breaking. They are just trying to target everyone.
Crown is by far our best selling.
Why has CondomDepot not come out with their own condom?
We've debated that often. Condoms are a very controlled market. If you ask a random guy what his favorite condom is, or what condoms he uses, 97 percent of the time he will say Trojan, or Trojan Magnum, or Durex — basically any condom they sell at gas stations. Those companies completely own the market. To us there are 30 brands that are comparable or better than Trojan, but no one knows about them. It's tough to come up in this industry. We can easily get someone to manufacture CondomDepot condoms for us. The difficulty would be in competing against the companies that dominate the market.
Are Trojan Magnums just a marketing gimmick?
I wouldn't call them a marketing gimmick, though I think the way Trojan has marketed them is genius. The gold wrapper is like the golden ticket in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Guys like to brag about using Magnums. But Trojan Magnums aren't even the largest condoms. Durex makes the largest condom, the Durex XXL.
What's the cause of most condom breakage?
Usually it's a lack of lubrication. They just dry out. A lot of people don't add lube to a condom because no one carries around bottles of lube.
How many condoms do most consumers buy at a time?
Our best sellers are the 100 pack, which goes for $29.99, and the "World's Best Tin" which offers three packs of our top 10 condoms.
What demographic do you sell to most?
Roughly 80 percent of our customers are straight males between 18 and 49 years old. A few women and gay men.
Why do you think that is?
A lot of it has to do with our advertising. We run ads in Maxim, and on UFC and Bellator fighters. We're looking into going to Panama City next year for spring break. We want to get our customers early. Our main selling point is that if you had sex with a condom and you hated it, it's probably because you didn't have the right condom. You have to find the right one that works for you. That's what we are trying to promote with the samplers. If you think you are big, we have a big gun sampler, which offers all the large condoms we sell. If you don't fit any of those, you aren't big, so maybe you should scale it down.
Most guys know they are small if they are small. You get a lot of guys who think they have a huge dick when they probably have the most average dick out there. The guy who is small is probably the most truthful customer we have. He's having problems. He wants to know what we sell that will fit him. Most of the guys who think they are big are lying their asses off. But, we do get those guys who call in and it's like, "You have a baseball bat for a dick. I don't know what to tell you."
What's the biggest penis a costumer has described to one of your customer service reps?
The other day a guy said he was 4 inches in diameter.
I first heard of CondomDepot when I saw the logo on an MMA fighter's ass. The logo seemed to imply that his ass was a condom depository. Was that an intentional publicity gimmick?
We didn't put our logo on the fighters' asses with the intention of causing a controversy. The back of their shorts was the biggest add space we could get. It was the most space for what we were paying. None of the fighters see it that way either. They understand how sponsors work. If you put CondomDepot on the front of the shorts, it would be smaller and no one would see it. For maybe $500 dollars more, we can get it on the ass. The only people who cared were the bloggers. The fighters just saw it as money in their pocket. We saw it as the biggest ad space. Obviously when we saw how much talk we got about it, we weren't going to change it, but that was definitely not our initial motivation.
When you have a fighter who does well, do you notice a substantial bump in sales?
It depends. We see bumps a lot more if it's live on cable television as opposed to pay-per-view. I don’t know if that's because pay-per-view audiences are more interested in the actual fight. Also, the guys buying pay-per-view have probably seen our ads before. With cable we get viewers who are just flipping through the channels.
Have you tried to sponsor female fighters?
I would love to sponsor a female fighter, but women just aren't big enough yet to make the cable fights... Luckily Bellator is picking up on Spike. Recently, we sponsored Jeremy Kimball who went three rounds. I know for sure we got a bump from that. Our logo was on the screen for something like 11 minutes in that fight. We also got bombarded by managers saying, "I have this guy you should sponsor." When I get those emails, I know it went well.
Do you market more toward straight men because they are the biggest market for condoms? Are straight men hesitant to buy a product that is also cross-marketed toward gay men?
I wouldn't necessarily say that we intentionally market to straight over gay men. I would say we just know there is that line where there are customers you will gain and customers you will lose if you advertise in a certain way. We try to market straight down the road. If you have a dick, we sell to you. Whoever needs to buy condoms, that's who we are selling to. So far the straight market is just winning that.
Do you have any ideas of where you want to advertise in the future?
We're looking into going to Panama City for spring break. We are looking into getting tents at music festivals. We want to get beyond television and into people's faces.
At these events will your marketing be as simple as giving away free condoms?
Our main goal is to get the message out that condoms do not make sex bad. That's just what you hear, that you can't feel anything with a condom. There are so many great reasons to wear a condom. It's not just pregnancy. You could get an incurable STD like herpes. There are so many insane things out there that, I think people, especially young people, don't really think about.
I didn't think condoms blocked herpes because it's a skin-to-skin transmission.
Condoms have never come out and said they are 100 percent effective, which is something a lot of people don't know either. I mean, they can slide down, which comes down to the wrong size again. If the condom slides down like a sock, you're missing the whole point of wearing one. That's why our main message is to get customers to find the right size and to make sure they are wearing it correctly. That's partially why we have Kelly Steele writing online articles that engage people. Kids today are Internet addicts.
We have a distribution site for larger wholesale that sells to a lot of the porn producers and studios. One of our customers is The Bunny Ranch in Nevada.
Would you advertise on a reality show, like the one about The Bunny Ranch, or is that not the right market for you?
I don't know if there's a wrong market to advertise in. Bad publicity is good publicity. A lot of our advertising is based on what we think we will get out of it. We get pitched television shows all the time. We get movies every once in a while. The prices are too much. That's why fighters are so good. We are not sponsoring Bellator. We're sponsoring a kid in Iowa who is 3-0. His first fight is on Bellator. Most of the time fighters don't even come at me with prices. I will pitch them what I will give them, and it's either yes or no. You don't have that control with cable shows. With fighters, you can negotiate, but it's also a gamble. If we sponsor a fighter, he could get dropped by the first punch. Then, the best thing you can hope for is that they replay that over an over as the fastest knock out, but even then, does anyone remember the sponsor?