Mainstream Retailer Advertising on PaintBottle.com Porn Site

Jun 3, 2013 11:15 AM PST

MONTREAL — Crossover to mainstream is usually the buzz associated with a performer taking the leap. But new adult website PaintBottle.com’s unique approach has made at least one underwear retailer convinced it can reach a lot more consumers by embracing porn.

Digiday.com reported that startup underwear brand and retailer MeUndies has come up with the cash to advertise its sock products in a bold new campaign.

Part of the appeal is that the company believes it can reach a lot more consumers at a fraction of the cost of mainstream ads.

PaintBottle CEO John Phillips told XBIZ, “MeUndies reached out to us. One of their investors saw our TechCrunch coverage then recommended to the MeUndies CEO that they advertise on PaintBottle.”

Phillips added that the MeUndies's ad would be going up this week. “It took us two weeks to nail down the specifications of the placement and to design the ad for it. The ad is fantastic, and I think you'll agree that it's a perfect crossover for a fashion company to target itself on an adult site.”

MeUndies founder Jonathan Shokrian said his young brand is trying to make a name for itself.  “Being a startup, we’re always looking for new, interesting channels to test,” Shokrian told Digiday. “We’re not Calvin Klein, we’re a young brand trying set ourselves apart. Porn sites are among the most visited on the Internet, so it’s a unique opportunity.”

That doesn’t mean porn webmasters should be knocking on MeUndies’ door anytime soon.The company said it wouldn’t be comfortable with most adult sites because it’s trying to weed out those with aggressive and offensive advertising messages and content in favor of building a more user-friendly experience.

PaintBottle launched just last April with significant mainstream attention due in part because of itsagenda is to be an inviting place for all porn viewers to find content that they can find "enjoyable," and without overly explicit images.

Phillips said the problem with most adult sites is not porn but the “quality” of the content and is staying away from standard SEO tricks, purchased traffic, and cheap direct-response advertisers that fuel the majority of adult sites. Instead, it wants to build a business around fully licensed content and ad revenue from legitimate, mainstream brands.

“Even if an edgy brand did want to align themselves with adult material, with most sites out there they’d find themselves next to unsuitable ads or aggressive, disgusting content. We’re trying to do something different,” Phillips said.

According to Digiday, PaintBottle believes its approach will reach porn-shy mainstream advertisers that don’t want to risk being placed next to offensive hardcore material.

PaintBottle is courting companies that sell lingerie, condoms, liquor, or men’s grooming products.

“We definitely had some hesitation doing this campaign, particularly from some of our investors,” Shokrian said. “But ultimately, I don’t really see how it could harm our brand. I wouldn’t be surprised to see more brands doing this, especially if more adult publishers clean up and tone down their sites a bit.”

And according to PaintBottle, it has some good numbers to help woo would-be advertisers.The company said it has already generated more than 500,000 unique visitors and an average time-per-visit of more than 12 minutes, resulting in its mainstream media coverage from TechCrunch and Huffington Post.

Bucking porn’s usual traffic strategies to attract users, PaintBottle is more concerned with presenting a quality experience.

“Being in porn to begin with gives you opportunity to scale, it’s almost a given. The content is expensive, but we think by bringing on board real brands, we can generate CPMs at least four times higher than most adult sites,” Phillips said.

In some cases, PaintBottle’s also using what it calls click-through “native” ad units that direct to an advertiser’s sites instead of content. The company said it’s seeing click-through rates of nearly 10 percent on some ads. It’s also using affiliate links for brands such as married persons' affair site Ashley Madison.

And the ad coup for PaintBottle is opeing the doors to more mainstream products. Phillps told XBIZ that the company is currently in talks with a couple of other companies and will make an announcement once confirmed.

 

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