Does pornography have a place in the PR campaigns of the future?

Before you dismiss this article and its clickbait heading, ask yourself what your relationship to porn is.

Does pornography have a place in the PR campaigns of the future, asks Sam Narr
Does pornography have a place in the PR campaigns of the future, asks Sam Narr
Whether you’re a daily watcher or you rarely indulge, in 2016 porn is becoming more socially acceptable with less taboo and stigma attached to it.


Technology is a major factor, with the increasing internet speeds allowing people to share images and video almost instantaneously. 

Societally, we’re becoming more open-minded, too. David Cameron legalising gay marriage was a landmark moment, a clear sign of a conscious shift in people’s openness to debate and integrate different sexual preferences.

One in three women in the UK watches porn once a week and over a quarter of UK males watch porn daily. 

Alongside this, the largest pornography site, Pornhub, documented that in 2015 the UK was the second highest in visits (168) per capita in the world to the site, and globally there was 75GB per second of streamed pornographic material. 

Separately, it was found that porn sites get more visitors each month than Netflix, Amazon and Twitter combined. 

All in all, people love porn. 

Compare these statistics to ‘that blog’ you’ve been desperately trying to place your client’s breakfast cereal in and prepare to be flummoxed.

Creative maverick Kanye West made the bold move to leak his latest album, The Life of Pablo, on Pornhub which meant, at the time, it was the only free way to hear the eagerly anticipated release, discounting torrents. 

Similarly, creative director Nicola Formichetti of the Italian fashion powerhouse Diesel, masterminded a successful advertising campaign on Pornhub in 2015 for their SS16 collection which saw an increase of 31 per cent in website traffic and/or sales.

If we had to categorise West and Formichetti into Rogers’ renowned ‘Diffusion of Innovations’ model, they would both sit nicely into the Innovators sector. 

Meaning it’s only a matter of time before the idea of consumer culture marketing and PR will spike in its use of porn.

Obviously PR campaigns of today are incredibly engineered and demographics are targeted when done correctly. 

There is no way that pornography will put the Mirror out of business, but is there any worth in PR pros considering porn as a new-age exposure strategy, and if so, what would it look like in the coming years if PR was to integrate into pornography?

To take a subtler assumption of PR in porn, product placement would be the obvious and less viral approach. 

Yes, it’s not clever but the exposure that porn provides is unrivalled.

Imagine strapping on your VR headset and walking into a video where the furnishings of the property are entirely Ikea, the drink of choice of the actors/actresses before coitus is everybody’s favourite brew, Yorkshire Tea, and then there’s a wholesome pack of Pampers Baby Wipes to finish off.

Awareness campaigns could be wholly effective in porn, too.

The advantages of protected sex could be thought-up by condom manufacturers or the dangers of STIs could be addressed by the NHS or private healthcare companies.

Brand alignment is crucial and would probably put an overwhelming majority of companies off the porn approach. 

But, it could realistically shape and narrate campaign plans. Statistics and data regularly published by Pornhub insights is fascinating, with two recent findings showing the thirst for glasses porn and those that desire redheads. 

The data gives a global breakdown and could be utilised in an intelligent way by consumer glasses or hair dye strategists.

The possibilities are endless if the creative heads of brands have the balls – pun intended.
Sam Narr is a freelance senior PR executive

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