Category A03. OTC Products/Devices
Product/ServiceSKYN CONDOMS
Additional Company LIFESTYLES Brussels, BELGIUM
Name Company Position
Dave Price McCann Manchester Executive Creative Director
Neil Lancaster McCann Manchester Creative Director
Rob Gorton McCann Manchester Copywriter
Brendan Shryane McCann Manchester Art Director
Dominik Heinrich Lab 13 by MRM//McCann VP Global Product Innovation
Adam Prendergast Lab 13 by MRM//McCann Technical Director
Jo Portus Lab 13 by MRM//McCann Lead Interactive Developer
Rebecca Ziantoni McCann Manchester Account Director
Theo Bassey McCann Manchester Business Development Manager
Abbie Franks McCann Manchester Designer
Liam Roughley McCann Manchester Digital Designer
Kal Tank Craft Manchester Senior Producer
Matt McHugh Craft Manchester Editor
Camille Gabayet Craft Manchester Editor
Kevin Burrows McCann Manchester Digital Content Designer
Jonathan Baines McCann Manchester Front End Developer
Rob Brown Craft Manchester Head of Post Production
Robin Wilson McCann Manchester Director of PR & Social
Tom Cummings McCann Manchester Group PR Account Director
Harriet Williams McCann Manchester Senior PR Account Manager
Luke Taylor McCann Manchester Senior Social & Content Account Director
Sebastian Tully-Middleton McCann Manchester Social Media Manager
Luke Kelly McCann Manchester Senior Planner
Jamie McNicholas markettiers Senior Account Manager


Worryingly, 47% of millennials aren’t using condoms when having sex with somebody new. Scare tactics highlighting STI’s don’t work. We needed to do things differently and remind them about the bigger, life-changing consequence – an unwanted baby. Rather than hit them with more serious facts, we had to engage with them in a fun and relevant way. We also had another challenge to overcome, Skyn were the number two or number three brand of condoms in most markets, so we needed to generate the same brand fame and awareness the market leaders have but without the huge advertising budget.

Describe the strategy

No other age group uses Facebook more than millennials, they spend 6 hours per week scrolling through their newsfeeds. But now the older generations are more connected than ever, they’re sharing more than ever too. Uploading billions of baby images onto Facebook every year. Because messages about sexually transmitted diseases tend to be ignored, Skyn decided to inform the younger generations about the condom’s original purpose – preventing conception. So a social media platform overwhelmed with babies seemed the perfect place for a condom brand to engage with young people and prove the effectiveness of our product. All within the confines of our limited budget. However, thousands of other brands are competing for their attention on the platform, so in order to stand out we needed to utilize Facebook in a way that’s never been done before.

Describe the execution

We brought our contraception to Facebook and created a digital tool that blocks baby photos on your newsfeed and swaps them for stuff you’re actually interested in. We named it The Baby Blocker and uploaded it to the Google Chrome Webstore. The extension cheekily hacks into Facebook’s algorithm, which identifies what is in every photo, then uses it to detect babies and remove them. It tracks how many babies you’ve blocked in real time and lets you share the tool with all your friends. To get the world talking about it, we timed our launch with the most famous birth of the year, Prince Harry and Megan Markle’s bundle of joy. Maximising our impact and pushing The Baby Blocker beyond conventional channels.

List the results

Baby Blocker didn’t just achieve brand fame, it made a dent in culture. It was talked about on every continent from Europe, America, Australasia and beyond with a global reach of 197,000,000. Broadcast on international news and published in press around the world including The Guardian, Fox News, Elle Magazine, Mirror, Metro, Gizmodo, Yahoo!, Android, MSN. We were a hot topic on popular radio shows, podcasts and social media, and we even made it to the front page of Reddit. Not only did the media love it, The Baby Blocker users did too, as it was downloaded in over 73 countries with thousands of loyal users blocking baby after baby. In fact, they racked up nearly a year’s worth of user time in the process, 11 months to be exact. Skyn went from an unknown brand to the condom company the world couldn’t stop talking about.