Pornhub Run Pop-Up Store During Valentine’s Day


On the occasion of Valentine’s Day, the streaming platform Pornhub, which belongs to the Mindgeek group, opened a pop-up store in the middle of Manhattan’s expensive, hip district SoHo. On February 15th, however, the short trip to the retail business is supposed to be over again.

Pornhub tries his hand at running a sex shop. A marketing stunt? Or perhaps a test balloon for a possible expansion? The company is not commenting on that. Anyway, the Pornhub pop-up store was opened last week with a lot of press coverage in Manhattan.

Everything points towards a marketing gag. Because the assortment of the store is not really what you would expect from a sex shop. T-shirts, postcards, teddy bears, in short, a lot of pornhub merchandise was to be found in the store.

Alex Katz is the creative head of the agency Officer & Gentlemen, which conceived and designed the store concept for Pornhub. Katz explains the message behind the campaign:  »The idea was not to make a sex shop. We don’t have to have everything be about sex. It can be about love. It helps to build the brand. We want people to see the safe-for-work aspect of the brand, too.«

Apparently the agency was given the task of positioning the streaming portal as a lifestyle company for adults. Katz even talks about Pornhub having the potential to become a cultural hotspot for adults, similar to Playboy. A daring thesis and somewhat absurd idea, after all, the portal does not welcome its users with articles, interviews, portraits of musicians or investigative journalism, but simply with porn snippets mainly produced by others. And still, there are a lot of clips from full-length films, some of which are offered for free by the producers on the portal, some of which voluntary, some of which are unavoidably offered for free by the producers.

But Katz remains convinced of Pornhub as a lifestyle brand: »People wear Playboy logos and don’t read Playboy.« Apparently he thinks the brand is stronger than its product. After all, the mainstream media reports on every marketing idea of the company, late-night shows, and women’s magazines cite the brand name whenever things are supposed to get click-baity.

But is that lifestyle? Does the brand really carry further than the actual product?
The group behind the label is convinced of this and invests in the brand much more than in the many other brands the group has amassed. The company is remaining silent about the success of the platform’s paid premium offers. In the meantime, free memberships are being raffled off or given away as now on Valentine’s Day.

The VP of Pornhub, Corey Price, also commented on the pop-up concept: »For the last several years we have upheld a tradition of offering free Pornhub Premium to everyone on Valentine’s Day, and we opened this shop with the intention of being a part of our fans’ Valentine’s celebrations in more ways than one.«

Meanwhile, those who don’t live in Manhattan or don’t make it to New York can check out the pop-up store’s website. There, the brand ambassador Asia Akira will welcome customers and offers the opportunity to create personalized promotional videos in which Akira will personally invite them to join Pornhub Premium for free.

A real shop on the other hand? It doesn’t look like it.

You can find more information here.


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