ready for spring break
Clubs, liquor, Rubber Duckys may help shake off winter
By Mack Sisk
Herald Staff Writer
SOUTH PADRE ISLAND- Besides the beer and wine and T-shirts, the longtime
favorites among teen-agers, a hot new item for sale along the beaches
this year is the condom. Because of the concern over AIDS, it was inevitable
that someone would begin aiming their marketing concept toward the 350,000
college age boys and girls expected here this month---and they have.
Steve Finley, a Texas businessman, who made "Burnoff" the hottest-selling
suntan oil on the island earlier, now hopes to make his Rubber Ducky
condoms and T-shirts collector's items for the college students. "We
wanted to reach the younger market with a brand that breaks the ice,"
Finley told the Herald. "Condoms are embarrassing to buy, but Rubber
Ducky softens the blow and takes the embarrassment out. We are encouraging
safe sex. We know they have sex and are out there dying or getting pregnant."
So Rubber Ducky is using humor to market its condoms among young people,
calling it "the original AFTER party animal" and boasting "the fit that
won't quit". Finley has hired another new island firm, South Padre Island
Banner, to drag a Rubber Ducky banner across the sky and will begin
airing the new Rubber Ducky jingle on rock radio stations during Spring
Break. After that, he hopes to get his brand of condoms, T-shirts and
bumper stickers into college stores across the nation.
At Shirts Ahoy, salesman Bob Grainger has put together a 5-minute rap
pitch promoting Rubber Ducky, which he says will be the hottest selling
shirt this spring break. It has an "emergency" condom attached to it.
"A T-shirt, a rubber and a bumper sticker, all you need to survive during
Spring Break, Grainger intoned while two young female customers looked
on, grinning. "We're promoting safe sex. We don't want kids going home
with parts falling off. We want to make them aware of safe sex and if
we do it in a comical way, so much the better. Grainger said Spring
Breakers are tired of school and studying and are looking for fun and
sun. "We've got the one thing on South Padre Island that brings them
down---the opposite sex."