About SLAM

Beenie Man and Carlene in SLAM TV ad.

"I am Just a Little Squirrel Looking for Some Nuts"

This is the page where you would usually get all the BS, the bells and whistles of corporate hype. As I sit to write this, all that comes to mind is my cousin Ozzie's take on life- "I am just a little squirrel looking for some nuts." Well, I can't put it any better, pun and all intended. Our background is in marketing and here is what we did to create a world class brand.In 1997 we teamed up with Grammy Award winning artist Beenie Man, whose hit single "Ghetto Slam" was at the top of the music charts. We put Carlene, who was tearing up the Dance Hall world with her costuming and dance moves on the package. Found the damn best manufacturer. One that had a long list of accredations. Then in a series of innovative radio and television advertisements, Beenie and Carlene transformed SLAM from hit song to reality, from vinyl to latex. SLAM's association with reggae, hip-hop and music is not by accident. We feel that the entertainment industry can be a powerful platform to get the message out that condoms can save lives. SLAM has accomplished this, dominating the market in the 14-19 age group. The USAID funded research by the Hope Enterprise in 2001 bears us out:

"The vast success of the brand (SLAM) can also be attributed to its cultural positioning and wide distribution network. Slam Condom is responsible for almost single handedly expanding condom distribution through small shops and other non-traditional outlets."

Our beginnings were frought with naivete. We thought the best way to sell the product was to put it front and centre, taking condoms from behind the counter to the front of the counter. Buying contraceptives shouldn't be a shameful act - it was a postive act that should be celebrated. Perhaps we should have seen it coming - but SLAM was slammed for promoting promiscuity rather than protecting lives. It was the case of the solider being told not to wear the bullet proof vest in a war zone because he might start a riot. It didn't help that we printed the Jamaican flag on the back of the package because we were proud of our origins.

Thankfully, we also had many allies who understood what we were trying to do. There was Lois Hugh at the Jamaica Red Cross, Marcia Reid, one of the many nurses in the field that saw the impact we've had, and many supporters in the media world. But all publicity, as they say, is good publicity. And the controversy helped to put SLAM, then an unknown fledgling brand right on the front pages of the national newspapers. You couldn't ask for more than that. So to our critics, all we can say is...Thanks!

From there, SLAM became a social phenomena. Our story has been told on television, newspapers, radio and magazines, in Europe, Canada, the United States and the Caribbean. Not to mention, the numerous papers that have been written on our branding strategy by marketing students in North America.SLAM represents a state of mind for the young and the young at heart. It's about the music, it's about an attitude. It's about caring for your fellow man. And woman. And of course, your nuts.