You're laughing for a good cause.
On Monday, many Twitter users thought that condom manufacturer Durex had made a tragically misguided branding mistake.
It all started with a September 5th tweet that stated “#BreakingNews: We're launching an exciting new savoury #condom range — Eggplant flavour! #CondomEmoji”
That's right — eggplant-flavored condoms.
The logic behind the odd choice of eggplant as the first “savoury” flavor seemed to stem from the fact that the eggplant emoji has become a popular emoji choice during sexting (or at least when joking about sexting), often used to represent a penis. But still… eggplant?
People on Twitter quickly responded with unbridled disgust.
(One of the funniest reactions was Durex’s follow-up tweet where they had to clarify what they meant to British readers — in the UK and several other countries, eggplants are known as “aubergines.”)
Does Durex really think that eggplants have a place during sex? Does Durex really think that people want a condom that tastes like an eggplant just because they enjoy a funny emoji?
NO. And the clue that they were joking all along appeared at the end of their original tweet — the hashtag #CondomEmoji.
Since 2015, Durex has been campaigning for the creation of an official safe sex emoji. As a part of World AIDS Day last year, Durex began a public outreach program to petition the Unicode Consortium — the group that controls official emojis — to introduce a condom emoji.
While that might sound frivolous to some, one has to realize how frequently emojis are used when it comes to sexting and flirting by young people. Like it or not, there are a lot of people today using the language of emojis to arrange sexual encounters.
So, in their first campaign video, Durex argued that, "an official safe sex emoji will enable young people to overcome embarrassment around the discussion of safe sex."
As of yet, a condom emoji has not been introduced, so the eggplant condom hoax was Durex’s fairly ingenious way to reignite interest in the campaign.
After Twitter spent a few hours being outraged and disgusted, the company Tweeted out an admission that they were joking, stating, “You got us, there’s no Eggplant condom! But why no #CondomEmoji? RT if you agree emoji makers should make one!”
Yes, the idea of an eggplant-flavored condom is gross. (I’m not actually sure that I know what an eggplant tastes like without a ton of marinara sauce and cheese on top of it.) But the idea of a safe sex-friendly emoji seems like a smart, sensible thing to suggest, even from that condom manufacturer that’s just trying to sell some product.
Let’s hope that we see a non-eggplant-centric condom emoji soon OR, at the very least, that Durex keeps finding such hilariously yucky ways to campaign for one.