At the time of writing, Italy is the worst-hit country outside China, for Coronavirus.
They have 15,113 cases and 1,016 deaths.
Pretty much the whole country is on lockdown: all shops except groceries and pharmacies are shut, plus theatres, schools, hairdressers, and museums.
Everyone is told to stay at home unless it’s absolutely necessary to travel.
For anyone found ignoring this advice there is a penalty: 3 months in prison or a 2,500 Euro fine.
If, by travelling unnecessarily, you are found to have infected someone else, and that person then dies, you may be charged with murder.
So, it is considered essential that you stay at home.
This can feel incredibly boring and restrictive, especially for active, young men.
So one company has decided to help out.
Pornhub is giving everyone a one month free subscription.
This is how they think you can address the problem of what to do at home when you’re on your own and bored.
Pornhub has 42 billion visitors a year, 115 million visitors a day, every visit lasts roughly ten minutes, and Italy ranks seventh in countries that use the site.
To me this seems a way for a company to have a bit of fun at an otherwise grim time.
People who are in Pornhub’s target market will find it funny, people who aren’t won’t know and won’t care.
But I saw someone on Twitter comment as follows: “Typical of Pornhub: evil is attracted to evil and profits from it”.
This is strange on a couple of levels: seeing a virus as evil harks back to the days of the Black Death in 1349, when some believed it was God’s punishment for the world’s wicked ways.
Bands of penitents wandered the country whipping themselves as they went, hoping to atone for the wickedness that had caused the plague.
I’m pretty sure that isn’t current medical opinion on how it works.
Also, calling pornography evil, harks back to the days when religion labelled sex itself as evil, when it was allowed only for procreation in a marriage that was blessed by the Church.
I’m pretty sure that isn’t the current majority view, either.
Whether or not pornography is your thing, it’s quite interesting to see the ways that Pornhub use “earned media”.
Their audience of course is mainly young men, but in an effort to grow the market, Pornhub are also talking to young women.
Their research showed that every month, 50% of women avoid sex during their period.
But apparently, medical opinion is that during this time, cramps and uterine pain can be eased by the oxytocin and dopamine released by an orgasm.
Consequently, Pornhub are offering women free access during the time of their periods.
Women simply join and register their menstruation dates, then every month at that time the service is free.
My attitude is, if a porn provider can manage to find creative ways to market itself, why can’t people in more conventional markets?
Pornhub’s thinking is original, unusual, and relevant, in a word: creative.
Pornography doesn’t have to be ashamed of what it is, it doesn’t need to seek approval.
Just be appropriate and available for people who are interested in what you’re selling.
And don’t annoy or bore anyone who isn’t in the market for it.
Isn’t that what all advertising ought to do?