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IT’S common in New York to see teams of college-age students handing out samples of goods like fruit juice and dog food. Even seen-everything New Yorkers may do a double-take this week, however, when they encounter street teams with hot dog carts stocked with vibrators.
On Wednesday and Thursday, Trojan Vibrations, a line of sexual enhancement devices, will hand out 10,000 free vibrators from two hot dog carts identified as pleasure carts. Along with the brand’s logo, the carts will feature sayings like “Getcha vibes here!” and “Relish the moment.” Trojan plans to distribute 5,000 each of the Tri-Phoria device, which retails for $40, and the Pulse, which retails for $30, for a total retail value of $350,000. It goes without saying, surely, but Trojan asserts this is the biggest handout of vibrators ever.
In what Bruce Weiss, vice president for marketing at Trojan, called “almost like a gateway product,” Trojan introduced a vibrating ring in 2005 that was included in some packages of condoms for an “improved condom experience.” The brand began selling a small vibrator, the Mini, in 2009, and the larger Tri-Phoria in 2010. The strategy throughout for Trojan, a Church & Dwight brand, has been to challenge the stigmas associated with the products.
“What we’re doing is taking something like a hot dog cart that is so everyday and so mainstream,” Mr. Weiss said, “and we’re showing people that vibrators are mainstream.” Two commercials for the newest Trojan Vibrations product, Twister, which retails for $60, promote it as a spark for couples. One begins with a woman on the telephone with a friend. “All I did was mention it might be a Trojan Twister night and things totally changed,” she says, as her husband passes by first with a load of folded laundry, and then with an iron and ironing board.