Humor in erotic Web advertising

Scott Rabinowitz
OK, so as of late, I have been studying the traffic patterns and consumer behavior on user-generated/shared content networks. There are already several of these, such as PornoTube and many of these sites are the fastest growing traffic hubs on the adult internet. The ability of these sites to grow their consumer audiences through viral marketing is incredible. The environment on these sites allow for a variety of monetization methods, while maintaining a fresh and interesting user experience on an ongoing basis. Overall, a reasonable means by which to generate, and presumably monetize traffic.

All that standard stuff aside for a moment, I looked further at the content in these networks and am working to determine what stands out from the crow. Consider that these types of sites may have tens of thousands of erotic video clips in their libraries. If you are buying a spot or submitting a clip to promote an adult movie, subscription site, products, etc., what makes your clip more compelling to watch than the thousands of others available for user enjoyment? I saw a sample of the answer a couple of weeks ago when a client provided a clip that got me to site and watch from end to end. The clip showed a woman dressed in lingerie (not slutty, but romantic in taste) sitting on a couch in a well groomed room setting with an upright vacuum cleaner, also dressed for the evening. It was dressed as a man, at least sort of. Whoever produced the video segment in question had created the almost believable illusion that the woman was on a full blown, semi-traditional date with the vacuum!

Admittedly, the subtle “touchy, feely” rapport between woman and vacuum in the video evolves into a more sexual experience involving the detachable hose graciously accessorizing the machine. All told, this 160 second video clip not only had the right stuff in terms of a hot model, good production behind the video, etc., but it also was funny as hell. In fact, watching even the first 6-7 seconds showed how unique the overall video clip was in comparison with the thousands of hardcore sex action videos (straight or gay) that appear in the libraries of the content sharing network sites.

By bringing in a moderately sophisticated approach towards humor in sex, the net result for the client will be attained for many months after the purchased campaign ends. Their video stands out and as such, takes full advantage of the viral marketing aspect of promoting web sites and content in these new traffic environments. Users will share and also post the links to said video which grabbed their attention to friends, co-workers, on blogs, social networking sites, etc. A successful promotion for sure.

The underlying issue here is to remember that consumers of online erotica are still human and can respond to humor. Where many marketers have believed that you cannot tie humor in with sexual content during the critical pitch/”get them to buy” phase of the interaction, this is exactly where a human touch can have a great impact. The next time you buy a spot or submit promotional video content to promote your site on a content sharing network, consider submitting any out take/blooper or tongue-in-cheek behind the scenes material you have rather than submitting traditional hardcore or overtly sexual samples. You are likely to be pleased with the results.