Porn Site Tries to Mainstream with ‘SFW’ Ad Campaign

PornHub has even enticed viewers with donations to charity for more video views.

Graphic pornography website banners might be a thing of the past. A site called Pornhub, which has been called a “YouTube for porn,” is trying to make access to pornography easier, through their ads. 

Back in March, Pornhub appealed to the public to make mainstream or Safe for Work (“SFW”) ads in its first ever national ad campaign. The winner would receive a one-year contract as the site’s creative director. The finalists were announced May 20 and tech blog Pando, Business Insider and The Daily Dot reported on the news. 

The company’s only request was that the ads be “tasteful, clever, and completely safe for consumption by the public.”  The 15 finalist ads chosen allude to masturbation, gay sex, multiple partners, even “teen love.” Some of the more tame ads tried to downplay what porn is, by calling it “doing nothing,” using the hashtag “#EverybodyDoesIt,” watching it at the office, or saying it’s part of the morning routine with “everybody’s got a ritual.” 

This isn’t the first time the porn site has tried to entice the public with innocuous advertising or incentives. To celebrate Arbor Day April 25, during the last week of April this year  Pornhub promised to plant one tree for every 100 videos watched under it’s “Big Dick” category, calling the campaign, “Pornhub Gives America Wood” with the incentive, “Help Pornhub Support the Environment!” and “While you’re watching some nice pieces of ash, you’ll also be helping to spruce America up! (Bushes are optional).” Classy, plant-porn humor. 

The media and culture have tried to make porn more mainstream and less taboo. From movies like “Don Jon with A-list actors, feminist websites praising a university student who proudly outed herself as a porn star and The Huffington Post consistently promoting the merits of porn, it’s easy to see how the media has made a safe haven for porn advertising like this to be accepted by the culture. 

— Kristine Marsh is Staff Writer at the Media Research Center. Follow Kristine Marsh on Twitter.