The Brownsville Herald
(South Padre Island, Texas)

Bob Grainger, manager of Shirts Ahoy, is all thumbs up over the anticipated sales of Rubber Ducky T-shirts.

Island ready for spring break
Clubs, liquor, Rubber Duckys may help shake off winter blahs

By Mack Sisk
Herald Staff Writer

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND- Besides the beer and wine and T-shirts, the longtime favorites among teen-agers, a hot new item for sale along the beaches this year is the condom. Because of the concern over AIDS, it was inevitable that someone would begin aiming their marketing concept toward the 350,000 college age boys and girls expected here this month---and they have. Steve Finley, a Texas businessman, who made "Burnoff" the hottest-selling suntan oil on the island earlier, now hopes to make his Rubber Ducky condoms and T-shirts collector's items for the college students. "We wanted to reach the younger market with a brand that breaks the ice," Finley told the Herald. "Condoms are embarrassing to buy, but Rubber Ducky softens the blow and takes the embarrassment out. We are encouraging safe sex. We know they have sex and are out there dying or getting pregnant." So Rubber Ducky is using humor to market its condoms among young people, calling it "the original AFTER party animal" and boasting "the fit that won't quit". Finley has hired another new island firm, South Padre Island Banner, to drag a Rubber Ducky banner across the sky and will begin airing the new Rubber Ducky jingle on rock radio stations during Spring Break. After that, he hopes to get his brand of condoms, T-shirts and bumper stickers into college stores across the nation.
At Shirts Ahoy, salesman Bob Grainger has put together a 5-minute rap pitch promoting Rubber Ducky, which he says will be the hottest selling shirt this spring break. It has an "emergency" condom attached to it. "A T-shirt, a rubber and a bumper sticker, all you need to survive during Spring Break, Grainger intoned while two young female customers looked on, grinning. "We're promoting safe sex. We don't want kids going home with parts falling off. We want to make them aware of safe sex and if we do it in a comical way, so much the better. Grainger said Spring Breakers are tired of school and studying and are looking for fun and sun. "We've got the one thing on South Padre Island that brings them down---the opposite sex."