Marc Dorcel Wins Prestigious Mainstream Advertising Award

Bob Johnson

CANNES, France — French adult company Marc Dorcel has landed a coup by winning what’s being called the first major marketing award for a porn company at the prestigious Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

Dorcel reportedly took home the Gold Lion award in the Direct category at the 62nd edition of the annual gathering — second only to the category’s the top Grand Prix Award.

In its bid to get users to pay for porn in a saturated, free content market, Dorcel joined forces with French advertising agency Marcel Paris to create a clever campaign to persuade online users to pay for “premium” content.

Dorcel’s “#Handsoff” campaign allowed consumers to see Dorcel’s entire content library for free, but with one big caveat — they had to keep their hands on the keyboard or the screen would go blank. The idea apparently was to challenge users not to masturbate.

The submssion hightlighted a number of clever users trying to get around the hands-on rule.

Although the judges grappled over giving the nod to a porn company, the Awards direct jury president and CEO of Leo Burnett Canada Judy John, called the ad “genius.” “People were trying to hack it and put things on top of keyboards so they could have their hands free,” John said. “But it was a very creative piece.”