Officer & Gentleman: Poetry, Pride... and Pornhub?

By Alixandra Rutnik on Aug 07, 2020

Madrid-based agency discusses its creative campaigns for the XXX site


Pornhub isn't exactly a name that comes up when we think of creativity... at least not the kind of creativity we usually talk about in the ad world. But Madrid-based agency Officer & Gentleman has certainly been putting a new spin on its XXX-rated client's image, educating an audience that may have *ahem* other things at hand.

Case in point: "Praise Poem for the Rebellion," a fierce spoken word video featuring poet Porsha Olayiwola giving praise to the heroes of the Stonewall rebellion of 1969. It was a powerful statement during this year's Pride celebrations, and not at all what you'd expect from Pornhub — unless you've been keeping an eye on what Officer & Gentleman's Co-Founder and ECD Alex Katz and his team have been doing. We reached out to Alex to discuss how they've been creatively raising the bar for Pornhub.


 

This poem holds extreme power! Praise Poem for the Rebellion seems like an interesting kind of campaign for Pornhub to release, have you done work like this for Pornhub before?

Thank you so much! That was our goal– to use that powerful performance to shock people into paying attention to the story behind the words.

We’ve been working with Pornhub for the last six years, and in that time we’ve done everything from creating silly gadgets like the Wankband or the Bonerless Bathing Suit to recording a hit song using only sex toys and even a launching series of popular Christmas ads (including one for Hanukkah).

Through Pornhub’s charitable initiative “Pornhub Cares,” for example, we’ve launched things like a sex education video for senior citizens (at the time, this was the group with the fastest growing STD infection rate) and an awareness campaign for practicing safe sex during the pandemic. Last year we released “The Dirtiest Porn Ever,” in which we shot an adult video on one of the most polluted beaches in the world in order to raise awareness for the fight against plastics pollution. The campaign garnered rave reviews for the brand and received over 41 million views across all channels (and it just won us a Bronze Pencil and two Merits at The One Show!).


Title

The Dirtiest Porn Ever

Agency

Officer & Gentleman / Madrid

Client

Pornhub

Annual ID

OS_SM20_022B

Category

2020 Social Media: Active Engagement

 

Talk to me about what inspired this poetic art piece?

Yes, the poem was written and performed by Porsha Olayiwola exclusively for Pornhub (and filmed for that purpose). The goal of the piece was to highlight the fundamental role played by BIPOC queer activists in the fight for LGBTQ rights and to remind people that Pride has its roots in protest. Specifically, it was inspired by the lives of Marsha P. Johnson, Miss Major, and Sylvia Rivera, who were not only present at the now famous Stonewall Riots but had a much larger role in the movement through their activism.

"The goal of the piece was to highlight the fundamental role played by BIPOC queer activists in the fight for LGBTQ rights and to remind people that Pride has its roots in protest."

How did you decide that you wanted to do this kind of campaign?

There are a lot of parallels to what was happening in the late 1960s and what’s happening today. Just listen to the recording of Marsha at the beginning of the video and you can see that police brutality played a major part in the riots that gave birth to the movement. Instead of just telling their story in a conventional way, we wanted to do something more compelling.

The beat poetry of the ’60s and ’70s inspired us to take that artistic route, as we felt it was a unique way to tell their story that also served to anchor it in the time the major events of their lives took place. From there, we reached out to afro-futurist, feminist poet Porsha Olayiwola because of the themes she explores in her work, her amazing talent, and the sheer power with which she delivers her words.

"We reached out to afro-futurist, feminist poet Porsha Olayiwola because of the themes she explores in her work, her amazing talent, and the sheer power with which she delivers her words."

We gave Porsha complete creative freedom to write and perform the piece as she chose and we sent a small crew out to Boston where she lives to record the performance. Then our design team added some on-screen texts to highlight what we felt were the most powerful lines in the poem, to help drive home the message.

How has this message been received by loyal Pornhub followers?

In general, the sentiment was overwhelmingly positive and the message was well received by Pornhub’s loyal followers. Of course, there are those users who reject pro LGBTQ and BLM messages of any kind, so we can only focus on trying to put a positive message out there and hope it changes some minds.

In addition, the release coincided with a renewed interest in Marsha P. Johnson, so we hope we were at least one more voice helping to contribute to educating people about some truly remarkable figures.

Are you working on anything else for Pornhub at the moment?

We’re working on several new campaigns for the brand right now, including one called Pornhub’s Big Package for Small Businesses, it aims to provide economic stimulation to small businesses around the world in the form of free ads on pornhub.com (a site that receives over 120 million unique visitors a day). We also have some new environmental initiatives in the works, and some other surprising new campaigns for later in 2020 that we hope will get people talking.

OFFICER & GENTLEMAN

 


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