International Erotic PR Campaign – Challenges for the Agency
The first request for support in the area of erotic PR fluttered into the agency in the middle of the 2000s. The reactions among the colleagues ranged from “Aaah… what an exciting topic” to “Oh God… that doesn’t work at all”. Well, the budget went to a competitor at that time and we didn’t have to carry on with the internal conflict.
Ten years later the openness among the colleagues was much bigger – we took over the PR for sex toys of a special kind for women as well as for partner toys. The brand, which was still quite young, was to become better known. A consumer PR campaign was planned in Germany, Great Britain and France with a focus on lifestyle media. Here we worked together with our local partner agencies from the Public Relations Global Network.
Erotic PR requires sensitivity
In countless conversations with editors and bloggers, the personal opinion on sex toys and masturbation was often extremely positive and the openness towards erotic topics very great. But not every editor-in-chief shared this openness. And in the end bloggers are usually very much subject to the wishes and needs of their followers. In addition, there was no great story behind the sex toys. They were neither developed in a hobby cellar, nor are they the product of a funny or bizarre situation. They are the result of an intensive product development process.
Let’s talk about sex
So how do you get publications for the brand? With ease and a twinkle in the eye, with topicality and seasonality and in addition as meaningful figures and data as possible. In some cases, regionality is also an option. Because the sexual preferences are not only different in the country comparison, but also in the different German federal states. The greatest success of our erotic PR campaign came from personal conversations and direct exchange. Because these toys are fun! The design is young, elegant, very appealing and at the same time particularly functional. And the toys are affordable!
Each agency with its own country event
Right at the beginning of the campaign, we presented the toys in Germany at a cross-brand lifestyle press event and organised a blogger beach party with St. Pauli’s iconic Eve Champagne at Hamburg harbor. For the media in Great Britain our partner agency Spider PR organized a sexual wellness talk with an expert in London. The colleagues from We Agency in France invited to a cocktail evening with a sexologist followed by an overnight stay in a hotel in Paris.
In the following months, many individual discussions were held with editors and bloggers. There was always a small selection of toys for the self-test or for distribution within the editorial staff. Because it is especially important with this topic to take the products in your hand, to feel the material, to get an impression of the functionality and to test the toy as you like. So was the very clear feedback from our discussion partners. And there were always other questions. Each editorial department has a different focus, its own thematic preferences and different target groups. In order to keep all interested parties up to date, there were classic press mailshots for the introduction of new models as well as with a seasonal reference and thematic hooks. In addition, we also put our faith in cooperation, both with bloggers and with various media.
Sex, love toys or masturbation – no longer taboo
All in all, erotic PR is extremely exciting. The subject, even if no longer a real taboo, is still often a bit tricky. A plaster, a nail polish or a handbag can be found well or not. But topics such as sexuality, masturbation or love toys are far more sensitive and complex for many. Editors also have their own individual experiences, ideas and sensitivities. Every conversation, every single contact is always a small challenge and very exciting every time.
Even the way with sex toy into the editorship can become unexpectedly exciting – if one wants with a small suitcase full of toys pass the airport control. After all, such a toy can also be regarded as a weapon from a certain size (in this case exact 17 centimeters), depending on the baggage regulations of the individual airlines. So, after the screening of the hand luggage the security officer asked us in a friendly way to come to the side. The toys that we had in our luggage that day looked like small rockets on the screen in all seriousness! Even after opening the luggage, the nice older man didn’t immediately recognize what it was about. To be on the safe side he checked the sex toys with the typical airport rapid explosive test. His two younger female colleagues on the side, on the other hand, could not help smiling cheekily. After this little incident it was of course clear that we had to create a press release dealing with travelling with sex toys. The feedback from the editors was enormous.
Storytelling and customer wishes
Sex toys for women or couples offers countless topics. Our own research as part of the PR campaign has not only shown us once how many open questions there actually still are about female sexuality, women’s self-determination or how to deal with one’s own body or to address the use of sex toys in a partnership. And these are all very good topics for an exciting erotic PR campaign.