Marketing Idea No. 269: Why porn sites are good media and homeless people are not

The trick of being innovative in your media choice is where you want to draw the line and how accepting are you of controvercy. And recently we found out that its ok to use porn sites for advertisement purpose, but not homeless people as human billboard.

California based food delivery service Eat24.com wanted better ROI and better targeted placement of their ads in terms of right people and right time. 

The answer, of course, was porn.

An industry leader like Pornhub brings in 14.9 million unique visitors monthly, according to the tracking site Quantcast. That’s more than the websites for Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal combined. “A whopping 30% of ALL web traffic is dedicated to adult sites,” the company claims.

The catch is that a brand that advertises on Bloomberg is probably unlikely to put their name beside X-rated content. In fact, Eat24 found that the only companies that advertised on porn sites were other porn sites and “natural male enhancement” sellers.

As a result, Eat24 said the advertising rates were dirt cheap. The company capitalized by pairing sexually suggestive banner ads (“BLT with your BDSM?”) alongside video landing pages. The viewers that saw the ads were, naturally, not dressed appropriately to go out in public, and likely to have worked up an appetite. In short, they were the perfect customers to order delivery from the comfort of their own homes. 

The campaign wound up being a whopping success. Eat24 said its adult site banner ads were able to get three times as many impressions as the ads they posted on Facebook, Google, and Twitter combined. And they did it at just 10% of the cost. What’s more, the company said 90% of the visitors the banners generated were coming to Eat24 for the first time.

From such insane experimentation, you would gather doing something simpler like using human as billboard would be ok. It didnt turn out to be quite so.

An “experiment” which involved using homeless people as mobile wi-fi hotspots has attracted criticism, forcing the advertising agency behind it to defend itself.

A division of Bartle Bogle Hegarty (BBH) equipped 13 homeless people with 4G wifi devices in Austin, Texas.

It suggested the public pay $2 (£1.30) for 15 minutes’ access to the net.

Comments posted to the BBH’s site accused the project of being “unseemly” and “wrong”.

Members of Twitter asked “what has this world come to?” and accused the project of being a “gimmick”.

However, others praised the idea as being “inspirational” and a chance to create a “positive interaction between the public” and homeless people.

It was noted that “there’s an insane amount of chatter about this, which although certainly villainises us, in many ways is good for the homeless people we’re trying to help”.

So next time you choose between porn sites and homeless guys, the rule of thumb is……

There is none.

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