Hornicultural Society

Relate: The Hornicultural Society campaign packaging

Relate enlisted Ogilvy UK to create a cheeky campaign that would challenge the over 65s to think about safe sex. It is a Winner in the Packaging Design category, and an Honourable Mention in Direct Marketing and Integrated Campaigns

Relate is the largest provider of relationship support in England and Wales, and one of its key aims is to help its 65+ market have healthier relationships. But with the biggest rise in STIs being among the over 65s, Relate’s challenge was to convince this age group to think about safe sex and change perceptions around condoms from being only for preventing unwanted pregnancies to also stopping unwanted diseases.

The brand had already identified that 44% of over-65s say their top pastime is having sex, closely followed by gardening, so Relate enlisted the help of Ogilvy UK to create a cheeky campaign that borrowed cues and language inspired by their second favourite hobby.

The result is The Hornicultural Society, which combines suggestive but tasteful illustrations that allude to penises, clitorises and all that fun stuff but in fruit and vegetable form, with aubergines, onions, artichokes, and plums used to create innuendo.

Elevating the idea beyond just the initial visual joke, the illustrations are in a traditional botanical style. As well as appearing as large OOH posters, they were also applied to carefully constructed seed packets. Reminiscent of packaging design from the 70s, with soft, rounded typography and dark pastel colour palettes, when opened, the packets revealed a condom. Natural and biodegradable, the condom could also be popped in the compost bin when finished with, to keep that garden thriving.

The campaign unsurprisingly attracted lots of attention and was featured in over 200 media outlets worldwide in the first five days of release. Most importantly for Relate, it saw 95% of single pensioners saying they would now use condoms.

Relate: The Hornicultural Society
Entrant: Ogilvy UK
Winner: Packaging
Honourable Mention: Directing Marketing, Integrated Campaigns
Agency: Ogilvy UK
Chief Creative Officer: Andre Laurentino
Chief Executive Creative Director: Jules Chalkley
Creative Directors: Nicola Wood, Andy Forrest
Deputy Executive Creative
Director of Design: Luke Ridgway
Managing Partner: Katharine Easteal
Account Director: Erica Wood
Client Partner PR: Rachael Coomber-Nolan
Senior Creative Editor: Sara McAlpine
Account Directors PRs: Jennie Halliday, Erica Cohen
Head of Offline Production: Justin Cairns
Senior TV Producer: Kim Parrett
Senior Producers: Sue Streatfield, Heather Hart
Illustrator: Marta Zafra
Art Buyers: Jodi Woodhouse-Ward, Ross Walker
Clear Channel Project Lead: Jason Jarvis
Director of Communications & Engagement, Relate: Sarah Milsom
Media & Communications Manager, Relate: Sarah Osmik