But when Davin Wedel, Global Protection Corp.'s founder and president, heard Surgeon General C. Everett Koop announce that condoms prevented the spread of HIV, he joined the fight. At that time, it was becoming increasingly clear that the spread of AIDS was a major public health emergency, and Koop publicly advocated the promotion of condoms to prevent the disease. This was a major step forward for AIDS awareness, but a big problem remained. Condoms were unpopular, embarrassing to buy and surrounded by social taboos. Clearly, condoms needed some help with their image.
In response, Davin, a sophomore at Tufts University, and a classmate awakened their campus to sexual safety with the "Happy Jumbo" - a condom matchbook featuring the Tufts mascot, Jumbo the Elephant, and the slogan "A Safe Jumbo is a Happy Jumbo". The duo realized that connecting condoms with familiar and popular images made the condoms cool.
The success of the Happy Jumbo convinced them to move their efforts off-campus, and in 1988 Global Protection Corp. was born. The company committed itself to making condoms an acceptable part of everyday life and did so through a series of groundbreaking firsts.
Happy Jumbo Condom Matchbook
Global Protection Corp. invented the first innovative and fun condom products, including glow-in-the-dark condoms and condom Smiley Pops. The company convinced convenience and gift stores to stock these items on their retail shelf, and for the first time ever condoms were out from behind the counter and onto the main sales floor.
Global Protection Corp. also created Custom Condoms©, a promotional product line, allowing organizations to print their logos and messages on a variety of condom packages. Companies used clever slogans like "Stay virus-free with Computers 2000" to promote themselves, while reinforcing the message of staying safe. Global Protection Corp.’s Custom Condoms made it possible for anyone, from radio stations to trucking companies, to participate in safer sex promotion.
The company was also actively communicating its ideas about condom promotion and safer sex education to the public sector. Health educators used Global Protection Corp.’s innovative condoms as icebreakers to help their clients relax and get them talking about condoms and sexual responsibility. Today, Global Protection Corp.’s products are used by health educators everywhere and are considered essential educational tools.
By 1992, condoms were becoming more commonplace and accepted by mainstream society. But Global Protection Corp. was ready to push new limits once again when it opened Condomania ®, the first store to sell nothing but condoms. The launch garnered national and international coverage on television, radio, and in print and helped Global Protection Corp. further propel the country's discourse about condoms.
Much has changed since the flight of the first Jumbo. Global Protection Corp's products have helped evolve the way society views condoms, demonstrating that private sector companies can help advance public sector goals. This committed approach to combining popular culture and social marketing became and remains the foundation of Global Protection Corp.
|1987||Happy Jumbo condom matchbook is created - "Safe Jumbo is a Happy Jumbo"|
|1988||Global Protection is Incorporated|
|1988||Global Protection introduces Custom Condoms®|
|1990||Global Protection donates non-lubricated condoms to protect American troops' rifles from sand during Operation: Desert Storm|
|1991||Global Protection introduces the Condom Keyper®|
|1992||Global Protection invents the Condom Pop|
|1992||Global Protection opens Condomania, the first condom store in the United States|
|1993||Myrtle is hired as "Inspector #47"|
|1994||Global Protection's "Woodstock '94" condom is the top selling item at the summer event|
|1996||Global Protection expands and moves to its permanent headquarters in South Boston|
|1997||Global Protection introduces the Atlas® Brand|
|1998||Jimmy is introduced as company mascot|
|2000||Global Protection launches Pleasure Plus®, with pleasure enhancing shape|
|2001||Global Protection invents Night Night®, the only FDA-Approved Glow-in-the-Dark condom|
|2003||Global Protection launches ONE® Next Generation Condoms|
|2004||Global Protection is listed on Inc. Magazine's Top 100 list for a third consecutive year|