advertising

Some start-ups looking to advertise on porn sites

Sep. 18, 2013 at 10:24 AM ET

When you're a self-funded start-up, you have to be creative … and perhaps a little less straight-laced when it comes to advertising.

A food delivery business called Eat24 is boasting that it has gotten a lot of bang for its buck by placing ads on porn sites.

According to ExtremeTech, "It's probably not unrealistic to say that porn makes up 30 percent of the total data transferred across the internet."

Eat24 management reports in a blog called "How to Advertise on a Porn Website" that, "When it comes to spreading our brand message, we usually take the road less traveled."

Since the company claims it has taken absolutely no money from outside investors, it was trying to find ways to spread its message on a big scale for little money. "The Solution: Porn, the Internet's Unicorn."

Eat24 said some of its biggest fans are X-rated movie performers, and that several sexy leading ladies tweeted about the California-based company before it started advertising.

Eat24 said it discovered that by putting ads on porn sites, it could get more ad impressions than on Google, Twitter, and Facebook combined—for only a tenth of the cost. In other words, the advertiser would get more, er, exposure, on the porn sites, for a fraction of the investment.

(Read more: Porn group lifting HIV-prompted filming moratorium)

The porn audience also seemed tailor-made for the food delivery business—mostly male, probably not dressed to go out. In addition, Eat24 said there was little competition: "Almost all of the existing banners were just more porn. The rest were for male enhancement pills, tips on how to please a woman, and finding hot local singles near you."

So the company dove in, coming up with racy ads like "BLT with your BDSM?" (Bondage & Discipline; Sadism & Masochism for the uninitiated.) The company learned that porn sites would not allow ads that included monkeys, cats, or dogs. And it discovered that by posting an ad on a page with video, the ad got five times as many clicks.

"Even if their focus is on what's happening in the larger screen, subliminally, they're thinking about sandwiches," Eat24's blog post claimed. "Plus, after they're done with the video, they've worked up an appetite."

Could this be the beginning of a trend? PandoDaily recently reported that another company has chosen to promote itself on an adult site. Subscription underwear business MeUndies began running ads on porn start-up PaintBottle.com.

MeUndies founder Jonathan Shokrian told PandoDaily: "We're always looking for new ways to get our brand in front of people. ... If that means a little bit of controversy, so be it."

Eat24 says advertising on adult sites has taught it a lot about its consumers, including:

—Chicago is the horniest city in the United States.

—New Yorkers watch a lot of porn on their lunch break.


By CNBC's Jane Wells; Follow her on Twitter: @janewells.

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