A video clip made to promote condom use among sex workers and their clients in Andhra Pradesh villages is among the most-viewed on YouTube. The ‘Really Weird Indian Condom Commercial Has Me Singing’ has the world in splits because the ‘me’ who sings is a condom.
The 6.58-minute Telugu video, made by International HIV/AIDS Alliance in India with artists from Nrityanjali Academi, has got a five-star rating on YouTube. It has had more than 6 lakh views in five months, pretty high for an Indian video. (Yuvraj Singh’s six sixes at the T20 World Cup has had 2.5 million views since September, and is among the most viewed Indian videos.)
The clip features four men dressed up in teletubby-like condom outfits singing and dancing about the benefits of condom use as they go down village streets. The lyrics go “I am good-natured and provide satisfaction… I am for you, do not neglect me…”
“I am amazed it has made it to YouTube and is being viewed by the international community. It was actually done to promote condom use... in Andhra villages. It really went down well with the 60,000-70,000 sex workers we work with in 13 districts,” said Nagendra Varaba of the International HIV/AIDS Alliance in India, which commissioned the song. The video, he said, has been very effective because it has an earthy, local flavour that the villagers easily identify with.
The clip is a rage among young YouTubers. “It’s like a bad, bad
Bollywood song where the lead actor — in this case a condom — sings with a chorus of dancers jumping in support. It’s so ridiculous, it’s funny,” said Anand Jain, 18. The chorus has been identified as a “dancing karate team” in one of the posted comments.