Porn Sites the Next Big Thing for Mainstream Branding?

Sep 12, 2013 7:45 AM PST

CYBERSPACE — Porn sites may be the next big thing for mainstream companies seeking a cost-effective alternative to expensive advertising and a hip way to compete with mega-companies.

Following a trend started by MeUndies, reported that online food delivery service Eat24 is running ads on PornHub and YouPorn at a cost of 10 percent less than if they would have used Google, Twitter or Facebook.

And the ads — brokered by TrafficJunky — are working.  Eat24 reported that it’s been “kicking ass” based on its tracking metrics that also show that it's reaching a new audience. And the retention rate from porn is four times higher that its Facebook ads.

Chief marketing officer Amir Eisenstein said the campaign netted a “huge spike” in orders and app downloads for the company that gets 1 million hits a month on its site and did $150 million in sales in 2013.

Eat24 hatched the idea to embrace porn when the company realized major porn stars including Tera Patrick, Andy San Dimas, Tara Lynn Foxx and others used their service. When Patrick tweeted about her order, Eat24 decided to try out what it calls “sponsorships” that trades food credit for tweets from high-profile users.

“When this idea was floated, we figured there had to be a good reason other brands don’t really advertise on porn sites, beyond the fact that they’re too shy,” Eisenstein, said. “But the more data we collected from our campaign, the more we started wondering why other companies don’t do this. For most brands, it doesn’t make sense, of course, but for companies like ours, it’s a successful platform that should be taken advantage of.”

The company’s foray into porn advertising worked so well it decided to do an entire porn-themed display campaign to see what other opportunities its relationship with adult could yield, that includes a humorous infographic blog on “How to Advertise on a Porn Website.”

The blog has attracted more than 4,000 social media shares, and was picked up by BuzzFeed and other mainstream marketing media.

Porn showed the company that it was a legit avenue for branding.

“The more we thought about it, the more we realized the target audience and pricing made complete sense. We had some reservations about aligning ourselves with porn, but we never really do things in a mainstream way anyway,” Eisenstein told Digiday.

The marketing pro made it clear that the campaign is doing very well and it isn’t just a clever and controversial way of grabbing eyeballs. “We started this campaign under the radar, because we really weren’t sure what was going to happen. When we saw funny patterns emerging, we realized we should probably write about it.”

“We’re not going to go crazy with it, but maybe we’ll expand on this type of activity in future. This was just a first try for us. Ultimately, everybody goes to porn sites. I believe more advertisers should be there, too,” Eisenstein said.

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