Durex Campaign by Harry Bradbeer Leads the Call to Action: ‘Ladies, Let’s Lube’
Durex launches a fourth-wall-breaking new commercial, shot by Harry Bradbeer, director of Killing Eve and Fleabag. Creatively devised by Havas London and produced by Park Village, ‘Ladies, Let’s Lube’ opens up the conversation around female sexual discomfort, confronts its misconceptions, and normalises lubrication as a solution.
The campaign was developed from Durex’s insight that while many women can experience discomfort during sex, less than 50% take action to address the issue. The 30-second film positions better sex as the next step towards women’s empowerment, highlighting that it’s completely natural to reach for lube. Asking ‘Why do we still put up with uncomfortable sex?’, the film’s protagonist breaks the fourth wall with the call to action: ‘Ladies, Let’s lube.’
The film was produced by Park Village and shot by director, Harry Bradbeer. Humour was integral to debunking misconceptions around uncomfortable sex and to convey the campaign’s message.
Harry comments: “I was drawn to this project because the agency brief felt fun, fresh, and humorous. The idea was to present a joyful, unabashed, and energetic portrayal of people making sex better, whatever their age. My challenge was to show believable sex whilst keeping within the parameters of ‘decency’ on TV. A lot had to be conveyed from just the actors’ head and shoulders, so I was looking for energetic but balanced performances that could match the subtle tone. Casting director, Orla Maxwell met the brief perfectly – finding women from different backgrounds who felt authentic and relatable.”
For the two-day shoot, the team captured the external opening scene in Wandsworth and the internal scenes in one location in Wimbledon. Impressively, they created six different ‘homes’ and looks from one house. This required quick, meticulous planning and storyboarding by Harry and a careful approach to camera angles to avoid repetition on screen.
Harry comments: “On a design front, I was looking for bright, strong colours from the apartment looks that felt authentic. Production designer, Amanda Bernstein, did a brilliant job at carving out six different looks. The ad is for a European market, so the interiors also had to reflect a European sensibility. This meant avoiding certain backgrounds and flooring. For example, you don’t get fitted carpets in Europe, so we worked with bare floorboards and rugs. DoP, Ole Bratt Birkeland, lit everything wonderfully – combining naturalism and gorgeous texture to create a world you’d want to dive into.”
Commenting on the collaboration, Harry says: “It’s always exciting to work on an advert that has a mission that goes beyond purely entertainment or sales. As a man, I was aware that I would never experience what I was trying to dramatise, so I was open to advice and input at all points. The women at Havas were genuinely wonderful to work with; they were great collaborators and it was a pleasure to work alongside them on an ad that carries an important message.”