Relate launches nationwide garden centre condom campaign

Created by Ogilvy UK, the campaign aims to bring awareness to the rise of STI's in later life sex

Leading relationships charity, Relate, launched a playful gardening centre campaign aimed at breaking down taboos and getting people talking about later life sex. The third instalment in Relate’s Lets Talk the Joy Of Later Life Sex campaign, the campaign is based around a PHE research that revealed STI’s among the over 65’s is at an all-time high.

Launched nationwide on digital OOH screens and in garden centres during National Gardening Week, the campaign includes a series of vegetable-themed condom packet designs, made to look like vegetable seeds. As a nod to most popular cheeky vegetable emojis, the range features aubergines, plums, courgettes, onions and avocados – forming a fully sustainable condom collection that can even be planted in a pot to biodegrade. Showcased at the family-run garden centre Finchley Nurseries, the range of condoms brings the sexual health debate to an unexpected environment like a garden centre.

Jules Chalkley, Chief ECD at Ogilvy UK said: “The audience we are talking to don’t realise they have this problem. They’re not looking for it. They’re not listening for it. And they are certainly not going into High Street chemists to ask about it. So, partnering with Relate, we decided to crash the number two favourite weekend activity into the number one. We wanted to use the love of gardening to solve the problem of STI’s.”

The campaign launched nationwide across digital Out of Home screens in partnership with Clear Channel UK. The cheeky illustrations feature close-up shots of suggestive vegetable seed packets under the banner of The Hornicultural Society. The sustainable limited-edition condoms, supplied by HANX, were also made available on Relate’s website.

Sarah Milson, Director of Communications and Engagement at Relate, stated: “We’re delighted to be working with Ogilvy again to reignite our award-winning ‘Let’s talk the joy of later life sex’ campaign. Sex and intimacy can be important at any age so there mustn’t be a taboo around talking about safe sex in later life. Using the unexpected backdrop of a garden centre and focussing on gardening-themed inuendo helps to grab attention and engage people of all ages, encouraging important conversations and breaking down taboos.”

Relate is England and Wales’ largest provider of relationship support for individuals, couples and families of all ages, backgrounds, sexual orientation, or gender identity, providing counselling, sex therapy, mediation, training courses and online self-help. Launched in 2021 with the aim to shape public discourse around sex and intimacy in later life, Relate’s award-winning Lets Talk The Joy of Sex campaign saw renowned British photographer, Rankin, shoot five older couples and one woman in their most intimate settings.