Don’t F*ck the Ocean: About the Clever Sex Toy Packaging that can Help Save our Seas

by Theresa Christine Johnson on 07/26/2017 | 3 Minute Read

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Sometimes you just need a little tough love. Our oceans are in distress so instead of skirting around the issue, Brazilian design agency Africa took a more straightforward approach with these dildos. Along with MTV, these Ocean Dildos are actually made from plastic waste found in our seas. We spoke with the team at Africa to learn more about how they developed the product, the goal of the packaging, and more.

Walk us through the design process that you went through for this project.

Africa: We started by defining how the dildo would look like. We decided to make a minimalist shape and chose several combinations of colors to achieve a beautiful and almost psychedelic look for the product.

Then, we made the packaging by creating dozens of ocean characters based on the dildo itself, using vibrant colours and bold lines.

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What was one of the biggest goals you set out to achieve with MTV Ocean Dildos packaging and how did you accomplish it?

Africa: We wanted to create something funny and provocative for millennials, the main target of the MTVchannel. Although the dildo could send an aggressive message, we decided to balance that by making the visual identity as colourful and light as possible, but not in a childish way. People loved it! They started sending messages in praise and asking for the object, that literally became a product of desire for our audience.

The copywriting is clever and comical in its own way. How did you develop a voice from the copywriting that was blunt without turning consumers off to the product?

Africa: Plastic waste became a global problem and a real threat to all marine life. Several marketing campaigns were made about it, but the result is always the same: people just don’t care. We had to start the conversation with a bold message, something they couldn't ignore. It worked because we talked about a serious issue with humour and spreading a good message: don't f*ck the ocean, do it (have fun!) with yourself.  

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What was the most challenging part of this project?

Africa: It was definitely the dildo itself. We created several prototypes of the product until we got the perfect combination of shapes and colours. We had many challenges to melt the plastic at the right temperature and cool it without breaking it or mixing the colours in the wrong way. We fit a furnace to melt the cut plastic pieces and created a rubber mold to put the molten plastic and make all the dildos the same size.

If you could pick one aspect of the finished design that you like the most or feel especially proud of, what would it be and why?

Africa: We are satisfied with the final illustrations of the animals of the oceans because we created a visual identity that sends a strong message without being appealing, and in an objective way.

Share one lesson that you learned while developing the finished product.

Africa: Be brave in the message you want to send to the world, sometimes it's the only way to get people's attention!

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