Tis the season to go cold turkey on porn

Tis the season to go cold turkey on porn

“Tell me again why you need to access porn at work.”

The IT guy was naturally suspicious.

“It’s so I can upload videos of roast turkeys to PornHub,” I told him. “You know, client work.”

It was December 2019, and we were about to flood the most popular porn sites with videos of turkeys with our campaign 'Going Cold Turkey on Porn'.

Why? 

To raise awareness of Porn-Induced Erectile Dysfunction (or ‘PIED’). Let me explain.

The client was Zava, an online doctor that, as such, tends to attract patients with issues they’d rather not chat to their local GP about. Following our regular check-ins with Zava’s doctors, a number of experts flagged the emerging issue of ‘Porn-Induced Erectile Dysfunction’ – men, often younger than you’d expect, finding it difficult to get aroused ‘in real life’ thanks to the proliferation of free, readily-accessible porn.

PornHub was the worst offender among the tube sites, with more than 42 BILLION visits in 2019 alone, that’s an average of 115 million visits per day! With PornHub’s own data revealing that December is the site’s busiest month (more people at home = more porn being watched), we decided to use another icon of Christmas – the unquestionably unsexy turkey – to encourage men to go cold turkey on porn this Christmas to see the impact it might be having on their bodies.

How did we grab men’s attention?

We uploaded videos of roast turkeys to the most popular porn sites each with information about PIED, and carrying tags like ‘Big Breasted Bird Gets Roasted’ and ‘Hot Juicy Thighs’ to make sure they were found and talked about. 

With almost no budget available we had to use stock fowl footage from Shutterstock (checking first that the license allowed us to use it on X-rated sites!). They were edited in-house to contain scrolling text about PIED, directing viewers to content on how to give up porn written by psychosexual and relationship therapist Clare Faulkner.

Within days, the videos had acquired thousands of views and are still going strong. 

Metro, The Daily Star and The Daily Mirror were among the media who covered the campaign with quality pieces that drew attention to the more serious message behind the activity: starting a more honest conversation around ED and its causes. Hits to Zava increased three-fold during launch week and brand awareness rose by almost a third.

As well as scooping the Best Technology campaign at the Creative Moment Awards 2020, the campaign has picked up a number of other industry accolades, and will always be one of my favourites. 

This Christmas is going to be a little different, but perhaps, for me, that’s for the best. I wouldn’t know where to begin explaining this one to the extended family over a saucy turkey dinner.

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