When Worlds Collide: ABC TV Covers Sssh.Com and Mommy Porn On Nightline
I've been in this biz since 1994 and thought I had seen it all. But, what happened over the past month set even me back on my heels as to the power of working with the mainstream media for traffic and exposure.
A few months ago, just after my wife's "for women" website, Sssh.com, was featured in Time Magazine, we got a call, via our publicist Brian Gross, from a producer at ABC Nightline inquiring if they could do some coverage on us to include in a story they were working on about "women watching porn" and so it began. An ABC senior producer was put in contact with Angie (my wife) who is editor and producer of Sssh.com to figure out how to work together.
We had just finished up doing a similar "behind the women's porn curtain" piece with an international media outlet. Thus we already had a sense of how to do this to give their crew something interesting to shoot, plus give them the opportunity to interview our cast and crew.
So, with that in mind, we merrily set a shooting date to have Jeanie Marie and Ryan Driller (porn parody Superman actor last year) fly out via LADirect and be the stars in a 40 minute "Cinderella Story".
On the eve of shooting, ABC producer (Aude Soichet - Emmy Award Winner) showed up for a cast dinner and rehearsal. The next morning, the rest of her ABC News crew showed up on location up here in New Hampshire, where they shadowed the production and held lengthly interviews with the cast and crew.
To say we had reservations about having ABC on the set would be an understatement. Angie was extremely concerned about how they would present erotica for women to the world. So, we held our breath and crossed our fingers for about 6 weeks that it would be sex-positive piece.
Finally, we got the call last Friday at 3:00pm EST.
It was to air that evening!
BUT, at 9:30 pm, they told us they needed more footage!
The next 2 hours was spent extracting coverage to send them that was "safe for broadcast". I was immediately grateful the coverage was for Sssh (lots of talk and one hot sex scene) and not Wasteland (where NOTHING is particularly safe for broadcast!).
11:35pm Air Time: Nightline booted up, they talked about "Fifty Shades Of Gray" and "Sssh.com" for a whole 6 minutes, and then cut over to an interesting story about Mt. Everest climbers for the duration of the episode.
I was crushed! So little coverage! It was all fluffy and (to our delight), extremely positive, but so short!
Then, the morning came.
With 8000% increase in traffic and conversion rates we have not seen since 1997. It's beyond comprehension..,......
Want to see it?
So, next time someone tells ya that mainstream does not convert, it's impossible to get even if you want it, or that thinking outside the box is a waste of time, refer to the above!
But, on to the bigger point of the story in my usual altruistic manner......
This little episode is a possible turning point in further legitimizing erotica/porn in our culture, thanks to ABC.
Why? Here's why:
- A middle aged kinky woman from England writes "Fifty Shades Of Grey" as a self published E-Book and within a year, it is the top seller on the NY Time Besteller list in print, and now has a $5 Million movie deal for just the first of the trilogy. This indeed is like as if JK Rowlings had penned Harry Potter with bull whips and butt plugs. God, I LOVE reclusive British female authors that make a billion dollars!
- ABC, and the rest of the mainstream press, can not dismiss her book. "New York Times Best Seller". Words have meaning. "Best Seller" means people are buying it in droves, even if it does not read like Sallinger or Hemingway.
- Most importantly, this cuts right wing Bible thumpers like "Morality In Media" off at the knees for attacking our industry or positive mainstream coverage of adult entertainment, as it really documents that "Mommy Porn" is being read and enjoyed by millions of women. Even if they just bookmark it and wait until hubby is out mowing the lawn to go look at it. (yes. female bookmark traffic for sssh.com from the ABC experience is massive. We are seeing a 50% "come back later when Earl is out with the kids fishing the next day" extrapolation of stats.)