In the pub bathrooms where I lunched with my Godson today, I was struck by the “novelty” condoms machine, which offered prophylactics in an epic range of colours and shapes, with character’s faces drawn on them and designs that were supposedly “ticklers” and, therefore, more pleasurable. Not my thing, but I do see that there may be a market for them.

Until I saw the qualifying statement:

Not suitable for barrier use.

That’s right: novelty condoms at £1 a pop (roughly $1.60) that don’t actually work as condoms.

In business (or filmmaking, for that matter), there’s nothing wrong with novelty for novelty’s sake. After all, how many sea-side resorts keep their economy rolling on frankly useless novelty tat that tourists of all ilks like to pick up?

But if you’re offering a novelty item that serves a purpose, it’s vital that the novelty shouldn’t get in the way of that given purpose.  The proverbial chocolate teapot excepted1, anything you ship, sell or offer needs to do what they say on the tin (in this case, be a condom) over and above the comedy, novelty value that they offer.

Some other posts you might like:

  1. it’s not really a teapot, it’s just a foodstuff, and you’d never consider using it as a teapot []