Major Brands Are Beginning to Advertise on Pornhub

There are only two types of people in this world: People who watch porn and liars.

Which is to say, the size of the audience is basically unparalleled.

As such, major clothing brand Diesel announced this week that it will begin displaying its latest ad campaign on Pornhub, along with sister company YouPorn.

So, is it a bold publicity stunt or just plain good-sense marketing strategy?

Given that earlier this month Pornhub released its annual Year in Review, showing us that people watched over 4 billion hours (4,392,486,580, to be exact) of pornography on their site in 2015, we’d have to say it’s the latter.

Do you know how many hours that is? It’s 2.5 times longer than homo sapiens have been on planet Earth. And all in one year.

It’s no wonder major brands have been taking note.

Of course, we don’t watch porn. No sir-ee. That’s for other people. But not for me, thank you very much. Brands might not be able to deny any longer that there are a lot of people who are watching it. Those in charge of spending big budgets on advertising campaigns simply can’t keep finding excuses not to advertise on porn sites.

Four billion hours? That’s indisputably mainstream, even if we don’t talk about it.

So since we all watch porn but not everyone is ready to acknowledge it, brands are starting to do it for us. But is it kind of seedy to advertise on porn sites? Well, only if the consumers watching it are seedy.

And seeing as Pornhub’s statistics equate to 12 videos viewed per person on Earth, that’s as broad a question as turning to your left on the subway and asking yourself what kind of person he or she looks like. And then continuing to do so for every other human in your car and on the TTC in all whole of Toronto and then all of Canada and then all of the world and, well, you get the point.

So unless there are a choice few out there who are really taking one for the team, we can’t pretend that this isn’t a huge market for brands out there.

To put things into context, let’s say there’s a TV series on HBO that everyone is watching. It has 4 billion viewers over the course of the year. The show also happens to feature several well-dressed millennials. A fashion brand indexing well for this exact demographic has the budget to advertise in the show’s commercials but it chooses not to.

That’s not good marketing – and neither is avoiding one of the internet’s most used platforms.

So why haven’t more brands made the move to advertise on Pornhub? The answer, of course, is stigma. The subject of sex – how much we have it and how we have it – has always been taboo, and the way we watch other people doing it is no different.

But gradually that seems to be shifting. As talk about porn in pop culture continues to grow, so does its universal acceptance as a thing that actually exists in most people’s lives. Pornhub’s end-of-year insights also suggest that 24 per cent of site visitors were female, which is up from the previous year.

Does this mean you’ll start seeing Ralph Lauren ads on your private browser anytime soon? Probably not. But don’t be surprised to see more and more brands entering previously unchartered domains.