Why PornHub Is An Unlikely Data-Driven Marketing Power (100% SFW)

Whether through the virtues of society’s more relaxed tolerances and cosmopolitan aspirations, the company’s uncommon marketing acumen, or a combination of the two, PornHub has grown into something of a household name, and is among the most publically visible brands in adult entertainment.

PornHub is an incredibly busy and vocal brand. Between its clever video and print advertising and its social media marketing, PornHub is rare among adult entertainment companies in that it has broken through to achieve mainstream awareness.

The brand can’t help but generate headlines, especially whenever it publishes new data to its Insights blog. A search for PornHub Insights is a list of publishers—both new and old—who have covered their data.

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The question of how PornHub edged its way into the mainstream is an interesting one, but the why may be even more so. Pornography existed well before the digital age, and was some of the first content on the web, so people clearly have no issue with finding the content. So, why go mainstream? Apparently, because this was the plan all along.

In an email Q&A, we spoke with PornHub’s VP Corey Price about some of the strategy behind the brand’s marketing, how it meets the challenges of marketing adult content to the masses, ad blocking, and why the team made mainstream the goal in the first place.

Perry: Marketing processes like social media, content marketing, and even traditional advertising seem so rote for most brands, but are potentially tricky forPornHub given its content. Yet, I get the sense that PornHub’s outbound marketing is thriving. Is this the case? If so, how are is PornHub increasing brand awareness without leveraging its NSFW (not safe for work) content?

Cory: Our data blog PornHub Insights has played a major part in this. We utilize our data and trends to make interesting SFW (safe for work) content that people love to read about and share. The media, and in turn our readers, have really responded well to it over the years, and it has been a great way for us to create conversations about our brand in a SFW and sharable way. We have also been trying to conceptualize campaigns that resonate with our community in meaningful ways. Specifically, our initiatives that we’ve executed under Pornhub Cares, our philanthropic division, have been great for this. We have been able to raise awareness and funds for some amazing causes through these projects, all while involving our userbase as our donations are built up by views.

P: How and why is PH so active in mainstream, high impression marketing? Why do we see PH, and not its competitors?

C: Being mainstream was Pornhub’s goal from day one – it just took a while to get there. To be honest, we haven’t really changed our strategy – we just enhanced it. Through creative and entertaining data pulls, partnerships and stunts, the general public and media have become more receptive to us.

P: How does PornHub tackle the issue of incognito browsing? How is it able to capture and utilize meaningful user data when so many users browse adult sites incognito?

C: Incognito browsing does limit our recommendation engine for our users, however these are mainly users who don’t want to have personalized content. Also, much of the content is served based on geolocation of the user.  As shown in our searches by country in our year in review , many areas will seek out content related to them.

P: How is PornHub dealing with ad blocking? I gather it is a challenge the adult web has been battling for some time already?

C: Last year we launched our Premium version which is an ads free experience with thousands of additional premium scenes. We hope to cater to the market who is fed up with ads and move them to a subscription model that is a better experience than the normal PornHub.

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