During a recent venture to my local grocery store, the wholesome kind with an elderly owner stocking fresh tofu at all hours, I was wandering the pharmacy aisle when something caught my eye: condoms. You may have noticed that Magnum condoms, Trojan’s plus-size product, are taking over the shelves.Specifically, the types of condoms: of the five options on display, only two were regular Trojans. My friend, photographer Azikiwe Mohammed, certainly did: during a cross-country road trip, he began documenting every liquor and convenience store that stocked the jumbo latex – and found that nearly every one of them did.In fact, hold a Magnum up next to a regular old ENZ, and you may be, er, hard-pressed to tell the difference.Given the heavy social pressure to be well-endowed, not to mention the status and ego-boost that come with it, what man wouldn’t want to sport a condom that announces to the world that he’s bigger than the rest? Some men admit to jumping on the Magnum train because the larger size is actually more comfortable (or at least, that’s the reason they’ll admit to).With Ludacris endorsing a talent search that challenged contestants to “Live up to the Gold Standard,” invoking the Magnum name went from bragging-right to coveted product placement.Trojan’s Head of Marketing, Jim Daniels, stated that “people are proud to show they have a Magnum condom — the large size really connotes a sense of ‘above-average prowess,’ let’s call it.” An equally large, and lesser-known, reason for the Magnum takeover is the simple fact that Magnums aren’t much bigger than regular Trojans.Measuring in at 8.07 inches long with a width of 2.13 inches (the XL is 2.48 inches wide at the head — yes, there is an XL), Magnums have a little over a half-inch in length on their cousin, Trojan ENZ, which is 7.5” inches long and 2.0 inches wide.
They had serendipitous help from rappers like Remy Ma, Young Jeezy, Mack 10 and Busta Rhymes, all of whom referenced the brand by name without any prompting from Trojan (proving that a product that instantly reveals the size of your, er, package really does sell itself).
In 2010, “Live Large,” the division’s first marketing initiative, was born.
All this Magnum love poses the question: When did the exceptional become the norm? Trojan, which controls 72% of all condom sales in the U.
S., has spent the last decade steadily embedding Magnums in the collective-conscience.
The sales numbers support his discovery: Between 20, Magnum sales grew by over 14%.
By the start of the current decade, what would appear to be a niche product made up 18.8% of overall condom sales in the U. (not including Wal-Mart) — and that was before any official advertising began.