Towards the end of 2013, at Allium, we were approached by Virgo Consumer Health & Wellbeing and their client: Durex to help promote their latest product: Durex Embrace Pleasure Gels around Valentines Day in 2014.

How Do You Promote Something Few People Talk About?

Never one to shy away from a challenge, I suggested, given that you can’t promote gels in the mainstream media (or even on YouTube!), that Durex should make a statement, and rather than something that might get noticed, they should focus on something that does get noticed.

And so it was born, the sky over London would come alight with, probably, the largest orgasm ever created.

Choreographed to a soundtrack of a man and woman in the clutches of passion pulsating through the air; two columns of light, made from some 80 searchlights on London’s Southbank, were to became people who danced, embraced and curled around each other. This led to a thrilling climax – quite possibly the world’s largest and most audible climax in history, all in front of a thrilled crowd – truly amazed by the audacity of what they had just experienced.

Allium Durex

Once on site, life was made somewhat challenging as one of the strongest storms ever to hit the UK played havoc with the event set up. But the team’s handling of the event meant the worst storms to hit the UK in 200 years, which quite literally flooded and blew equipment away, did not get in the way of the show.

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The Results

There were viewing angles from across the river at both Blackfriars and Waterloo Bridge (The Observation Point at Coin Street). A large portion of the crowd had noticed the pre-event campaign, which encouraged them to come along to watch the lighting shows on 13 February. There were many passing viewers too, given the prime South Bank location. People could enjoy the light show from many different viewing points.

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Virgo Consumer Health & Wellbeing and Allium worked closely to create something that would be talked about in a subject that is often difficult to talk about in the media, and which they were able to promote both before, during and after the event.

The light show reflected the ‘Embrace’ of the Durex Embrace Pleasure Gels in a powerful, yet subtle and artistic way. Two circles of light in Durex Embrace Pleasure Gels brand colours danced around and intertwined each other with an iconic London backdrop in the shots, including St Paul’s Cathedral and the Oxo Tower.

Overall, more than 1,000 people saw the show and the stunt received 22 pieces of coverage across regional media including the London Evening Standard, Time Out and Shortlist, with a total circulation of more than 51 million. 24 bloggers blogged about the event, including A Beauty Junkie in London, Hello Wonderful and The Mummy Blogger, which resulted in a reach of more than 1.2 million and 105,000 page impressions.

A few kind words from our client:

“You guys were brilliant to work with.

Extremely thorough, professional and full of ideas.”


Client: Durex / Virgo Health and Wellbeing
Executive Producer, Concept and Design: Will Glendinning
Artistic Director: Robert Alge
Lighting Designer: Durham Marenghi
Producer: Rachel Dulai
Technical Director: Martin Heap
Lighting Programmer: Pryderie Baskerville

Thanks too to: PRG, Delta Sound, Showforce, Fonix and The Technical Department.

Pre Production

Explicit ContentWe don’t have the rights to show you video of the actual show. You can check out the pre-production animation below, used to program the lights; from it’s delicate beginning, through to it’s dramatic climax. Viewer discretion advised!