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What your marketing team can learn from Pornhub (we’re serious)

What can your brand learn from a porn site? A lot, actually. Pornhub’s marketing efforts remain brand-appropriate, with the perfect mix of naughtiness and humor.



Like it or not, they’re doing it right

Pornhub is renowned for a lot of things that I won’t name in this article, but one of the most endearing ones (arguably) is its less-than-subtle—yet weirdly safe-for-work marketing. Between its fairly clean Twitter profile, the occasional promotion (e.g., brand-name t-shirts and twerking dolls), and the environmentally-motivated charity work that made the phrase “planting trees” dirty, Pornhub runs a quiet, largely appropriate campaign.


Even Grandma would laugh

This year’s Christmas ad is no different. Pornhub’s short video promotes a physical gift card for their premium service—probably not a gift card you’ll be seeing from Grandma this year, but still an innovative concept.

“This Christmas, give the most touching gift,” reads their ad slogan.

Oh, come on, that’s hilarious.

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G-rated marketing moves

Part of what separates Pornhub’s advertising from the NSFW pop-ups that you’ve definitely never seen in your browser is its useage of G-rated material to summarize X-rated content.

The video in question could be displayed at pretty much any public venue without technically breaking any blatant advertising rules; though the word “porn” briefly appears on the screen, it’s hardly the worst word we’ve seen in advertising this year.

Take a page out of their book (but don’t hide it under your mattress)

With an average of 581 million monthly views in the past half a year, it’s clear that Pornhub isn’t going away any time soon. You may not agree with pornography for a variety of reasons, and that’s completely respectable; however, you can’t deny its total prevalence.

Rather than leaping to offense, take a moment to appreciate the graceful elegance with which Pornhub marketed the ultimate gift—the gift that keeps on giving—and think about how your future advertising campaigns can do the same.

Leave them wanting more

Is this ad racy, naughty, and a little inappropriate? Absolutely, but those are the categories that Pornhub deals in.

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Like it or not, their campaign is the perfect example of how implied vulgarity or inappropriate humor in an appropriate context can leave a consumer impressed, interested, and—dare I say it?—satisfied.


Jack Lloyd has a BA in Creative Writing from Forest Grove's Pacific University; he spends his writing days using his degree to pursue semicolons, freelance writing and editing, oxford commas, and enough coffee to kill a bear. His infatuation with rain is matched only by his dry sense of humor.

1 Comment

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  1. Pingback: This Play-Doh campaign is so perfectly snarky, pokes fun at tech - The American Genius

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