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Your Shot

Your Shot: Why Pornhub Thinks VR Porn Is The Gift to Give This Mother’s Day

LBB Editorial, 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Alex Katz from agency Officer & Gentleman on developing 'Mommy's Special Glasses'

Your Shot: Why Pornhub Thinks VR Porn Is The Gift to Give This Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day should, obviously, be all about fulfilling the greatest desires of our mothers. But, according to Pornhub, those desires don’t involve lazily-purchased gift cards or wilting gas station flowers. Those desires are more in lieu with virtual reality. So to mark the occasion this year, the adult entertainment website and its agency Officer & Gentleman have created a seemingly innocent Mother’s Day card (although make sure you look closely at the anal bead-laden flowery designs) that actually transforms into VR goggles and instructions on how to watch certain immersive films that have been especially selected as part of the campaign. 

LBB’s Addison Capper chatted with Officer & Gentleman creative director Alex Katz to find out more.

LBB> What was the research that led to this project? 

AK> Other than the fact that the brand’s data shows us that there are, indeed, a lot of mothers visiting pornhub.com, there was no direct research that led to this project. That said, we did use findings by the brand that helped us with aspects of the campaign including curating the VR videos that the end user (in this case, the moms) would get to choose from for their VR experience.



LBB> A lot of conversation around porn tends to be directed towards men - was this a factor in the plan to do something around Mother’s Day?

AK> This was definitely a factor. As you said, many of the conversations around porn are to do with men, although we know for a fact that women also enjoy adult entertainment (although not with the same frequency). If it’s already hard enough for many men to come to terms with that fact, it’s even harder for them to realise that their own mothers, far from being mythical creatures, are women too and as such, must also enjoy porn from time to time.

LBB> It’s not a subject commonly discussed between parents and their offspring. Why was it right to go with that line of conversation?

AK> The point of the campaign was to encourage adults to finally give their moms a present she might actually enjoy this Mother’s Day. While we cant vouch for every mom, we can tell you we’re sure that the Mommy’s Special Glasses experience is more satisfying than, say, an Amazon gift card. Although to some the subject may be cringe-worthy, part of the reason for the campaign was to get people to realise that their moms have a life outside of motherhood - and that includes them having curiosities and desires of a sexual nature. 

LBB> It feels like there's a bit of an Oedipal angle going on… was that something you wanted to play with? Why?

AK> We definitely weren’t looking for an Oedipal angle to the campaign, but I guess whenever you combine a mother, a son and sex in the same story, the association will be inevitable. In the end, this all goes back to the underlying purpose of the campaign: for sons and daughters to be able to realise, as much as it might nauseate them, that their mothers, just like any other human, are sexual beings. And, as people, like anyone else, they have desires and curiosities. They deserve to be able to explore any experience that they see fit, regardless of what their adult children might think. 

Since many of our moms (I’m in my mid-30s so mine, for example) missed out on both the sexual and technological revolutions, Mommy’s Special Glasses is a chance for them to see what they might have missed out on during all these years.

Also, when it comes to creating a campaign that you want to reach as many people as possible (with no paid media budget), a little bit of controversy always helps.

LBB> There are three different designs - what inspired the style and design? 

AK> The idea for a card that opens up to reveal a set of pop-up VR glasses came from the agency. When, after an exhaustive search, we realised there was nothing on the market similar to what we were looking for, we resolved to make them ourselves. We teamed up with 6D Lab here in Madrid who have experience producing VR headsets, and set about coming up with the design.

Because we knew we wanted the card to, when closed, appear to be a run-of-the-mill greeting card, we decided to go with a typical Mother’s Day message on the outside, which a cheeky accompanying message on the inside. The look and feel, created by our design team in-house, was also meant to be wholesome and inoffensive (although if you look closely, you will notice that the patterns on each card are made up of vibrators, heart-shaped butts and anal beads respectively).

LBB> I do love how you’ve injected a kind of “porn” vibe (I couldn’t think of another way to word that!) into the SFW film. And this has been the case in previous pieces of content that you’ve created for Pornhub. How is it for you to work in this way?

AK> When working on a piece for Pornhub, believe it or not, the one thing we try most to avoid is pornography. When it comes to sex, we’d much rather imply it in a funny way and end up with the piece that can be shared on social media by anyone and everyone as opposed to making something graphic that offends people from the get go and makes it so they won’t stick around to see what the idea is all about. For this reason, we often use animation as a way to tone things down, or in this case, make the ad appear as if it could be just another Mother’s Day ad…until you see the whole thing of course. And as for the people who may see our campaigns and want something more explicit? Well, there’s pornhub.com for that.

LBB> As a creative, tell us about the experience of working on the Pornhub brand, and the opportunities and unique situations that it offers?

AK> As a creative, I have to say that working on the Pornhub account has been one of the best experiences of my career. For one thing, everyone is expecting us to do something extremely ‘easy’ for the brand so it feels great to surprise people with great creative. Also, the client is amazing and gives us a lot of freedom to see where we can take the brand.

The best part, though, is seeing how over a short period of time, our work (along with that of the brand’s in-house marketing department) has changed perceptions about Pornhub (and even about the people who visit the site). When we first started working with them, many people were still embarrassed to admit they had heard of pornhub.com, whereas now (as we saw last summer in Brazil during our Ooohlympics campaign) people are willing to be interviewed on camera talking about the brand’s initiatives. 

LBB> What has reaction been like to this campaign? 

AK> So far the reaction has been extremely positive, and we are even seeing a lot of coverage by women’s magazines and posts by mothers and those without children, celebrating the campaign. In general, even those who would never get such a gift for their mom have been able to appreciate the humour and the point we are making about how even adults view their mothers. Of course, there are always some right-wing publications that slam us for “ruining the sanctity of the family”, but they always do so sharing the video, so more power to them.

LBB> What have you got planned for the future with Pornhub?

AK> We have another big campaign lined up for next month (this one associated with Pornhub’s non-profit branch, Pornhub Cares) to raise awareness for a growing health epidemic as well as a spot we produced to promote the site’s 10th anniversary. We are also regularly producing ‘doodle’ videos for their channel (so far, we have produced pieces for St. Patrick’s Day, Easter and Cinco de Mayo) with more to come throughout the year.

Category: Online , Publications and media

Genre: Apps , Digital , Experiential