In the early 90's the musician Prince, in conjunction with Sony, came out with Prince condoms packaged in a purple miniature CD case. In the mid 90's Martin Scheiber's images of Madonna were introduced to the face of condom foils. These condoms, originally released in Japan and Europe, were such a hit that they eventually came to the United States.
Upon arrival on US shores the Madonna Condoms caused a bit of a tiff. It would have made sense for Madonna to want to use her notariety for sexual health awareness but apparently not in this situation. I first became aware of her interest in this issue when I bought Like A Prayer. Enclosed in the CD was a small broadsheet of information about AIDS and condoms from Madonna.
It remains to be seen whether Madonna will put recent pictures of herself on condoms or if she could make some money at it. I think it would be a success. I can easily see a line of Madonna branded condoms doing very well and perhaps forwarding profits into some non-profit sexual health research like Paul Newman does with his line of products. Surely just the name "Madonna Condoms" is so ironic folks would smile when they see them in their local store. I know I would. But then I have a particularly strong irony bone.
Now Gene Simmons has seized the notariety by branding his mug, tongue and all, on the foil and packaging of a condom. It seems a natural fit that the porn "friendly" musicians such as Lemmy or Tommy are a natural fit for a branded condom. But I wonder how far into the mainstream these new types of condoms can go? Will Brittney grind on stage and sell her booty on condom foils in the halls along with the t-shirts?