‘Triple-washed & Sanitized’
The line is fine between the genuine products of late capitalism and spoof productions fabricated by pranksters. True products and take-offs flow back and forth across a porous boundary. Packaging—finely tuned, highly evolved hype—is particularly readymade for mockery. Genuine products collapse from ludicrous overreach while cleverly crafted critiques and humorous one-offs are read as real. True and false mingle in a common herd.
Recycling has risen to new lengths. Trojan now distributes a “pre-owned” condom—“Triple-washed & Sanitized JUST LIKE NEW!” A left hand holds the pumpkin-orange package containing “3 Pre-used, Upcycled Condoms,” only $2.97 in front of a drugstore shelf. The image received wide circulation and elicited a wide range of comment: incredulous, amused, outraged.
The photograph does not show a genuine Trojan product, but a digitally manipulated parody so deftly crafted it is taken as real. The seminal appearance was Valentine’s Day 2020, posted by Adam Padilla who creates online content under the name adam.the.creator. Then, of course, the photo reproduced widely across the internet. A year later, Padilla offered a follow-up product: “Trojan FUSION condoms.” “Made with Real Gorilla Glue.” “For a Special Bond.”