The Weird History Of Mainstream SFW PornHub Advertising

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We all know and love PornHub, it’s that website we have open in the other tab while watching Break videos. What is unique about PH is unlike other purveyors of so-called “filth” and “perverted smut” is that these guys are trying to take penetration shots mainstream.

PornHub was launched in 2007 by a hero named Matt Keezer with a vision to bring the world free “adult” videos the same way YouTube does. The site was acquired in 2010 by a giant porn conglomerate and quickly became the biggest, juiciest porn site in the world.  So why would they even bother advertising? It’s porn, right? The stuff sells itself. No. These guys are creating a cultural revolution!

Over the last several years the adult site has weirdly developed as a mainstream brand and household name in a series of successful ad campaigns. Not even old school hardcore porn brands like Penthouse and Hustler have tried to make such a push. PornHub just released a Bangfit exercise routine, has put a billboard in Times Square and even tried to buy a Super Bowl ad. It’s all part of an effort to make porn less taboo.  PornHub Vice President Corey Price told Ad Week:

“As our data shows, people all over the world watch porn—so why be ashamed of it? We want to push the conversation into the general public as something that’s acceptable to talk about, while letting people know that watching porn shouldn’t be an underground activity that’s to be seen as shameful. Everyone does it, why not just bring that out in the open? The reason it causes a stir is due to an already accepted set of social norms.” 

Now that Playboy no longer shows nudity, we need a sexy outlet that fits more with the times. In the age of a possible President Trump we need someone out in the open, fighting to make porn great again. That is why we salute PornHub in their efforts to free porn from the bedroom, bathroom and subway car and bring it out in the open! Here are some of PornHubs greatest ad campaigns!

1.  BangFit Sexercises

The good folks at PornHub know that besides our right arm, we aren’t getting enough exercise, so they decided to do something about it. This new SFW ad campaign is featured at the website Bang.Fit. There you fill find helpful instructions on “exercises” you can perform with a partner. Thanks PornHub!  

2. PornHub Annual Data Dumps



The only time I like seeing dumps when I’m on PornHub is for the PornHub annual data dump. Starting in 2012 PornHub began releasing yearly statistical information offering fascinating information on what visitors search for while using one hand. Some fun stats include what states are spending the most time on PornHub before they are spent. And wouldn’t you know it, according to the 2013 dump, the Red States can last longer! Take that Bernie! Although for some reason instead of going outside to the beautiful sunshine people in Hawaii are inside making waves of a different kind.

3. In 2013 PornHub Tried To Purchase A SuperBowl Ad Spot!

In 2013 PornHub tried to purchase a 20 second Super Bowl ad. While the above advertisement they submitted was totally safe for work, featuring an elderly couple and the PornHub logo, the prudes at CBS rejected it. Some argued that the website had no intention of ever paying the four million dollars for the 30 seconds of airtime and knew that CBS would reject them. It would have been total legend if CBS called their bluff and let them run the ad. At this rate, I’m guessing by the 2030 Super Bowl a PornHub spot will be no big deal.

4. PornHub Launches Crowd Funding Campaign To Film Porn In Space



In 2015 PornHub launched a crowd funding campaign on Indiegogo  to fund what they called “Sexploration.” They aimed to raise at least $3.4 million dollars to create the galaxy’s first porn film in SPACE.  If they were able to get up enough funds they would have actually blasted porn actors “Eva Lovia” and “Johnny Sins” into orbit.  I hope they know that liquids float in space. That is one small hard-on for man, one giant erection for mankind. Sadly they only got to around $236K.

5. CornHub April Fool’s Day Prank 2016



While technically not an advertisement, PornHub’s 2016 April Fool’s Day prank went viral, getting the site a lot of free publicity on mainstream outlets. On April 1st when users came to PornHub they were greeted with videos and thumbnails of hot, steamy, oiled up cobs with titles like “hot young corn gets plowed.” Well done!

6. PornHub Launches “PornHub Records”



In an effort to expand the PornHub empire beyond porn and into the music industry, in 2014 PornHub Records was created. It’s your one stop shop to see “Filthy Teen Lesbians Getting Pounded By 12 Inch Dongs” –while casually listening to the new Tim McGraw album.  It makes perfect sense. Actually the idea was to create a place for “uncensored” music, …unlike say all those other websites that won’t let you upload songs with dirty words? Nobody tell Nicki Minaj.  While the premise was a little weak, like many PornHub campaigns this seemed more like another genius marketing ploy.

7. PornHub Released A Times Square Billboard



After launching a contest seeking a SFW PorhHub ad, the winning entry was put up in New York City’s iconic Times Square. It featured hands forming a heart with the caption “All You Need Is Hand.” Paul McCartney should re-release “All You Need Is Love”  with these new lyrics to celebrate how great this was. Sadly the owners of the Double Tree Hotel in Times Square to which the PornHub ad was attached didn’t agree. They got the billboard company to remove it within a day of it sprouting up on their building.

8. The Finalists Of The PornHub Ad Contest

While the “love hand” winner was not allowed in Times Square the other finalists in PornHubs competition went viral. Some of these are genius level marketing, right up there with anything the “Don Drapers” running the Geico spots or the Dos Equis Most Interesting Man ads could come up with. Seriously, whomever came up these entries deserves a CLIO Award and an AVN Award.

What is your favorite SFW PornHub advertising campaign?

Follow Phil Haney on Twitter @PhilHaney


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