sunglasses on a knee for outrage marketing

Outrage Marketing

What this post should be called is “How Ann Summers used Clickbait and SexBlogger’s outrage for marketing vibrators, buttplugs and cockrings”

Ann Summers used us all for cynical marketing.  I encountered it via a tweet



This presses our buttons, doesn’t it? The implication that they are going to promote makeup for your bits. Note that in order to gain maximum controversy they use the words vagina contouring so that we all respond with “It’s a vulva!” and all of it implies that what you have isn’t good enough, but have no worries Ann Summers has the solution.

It turns out that what they are really doing is launching a new crappy vibrator line called “Moregasm” that are dual density silicone to promote kegels along with a buttplug and to make sure we don’t leave the men out a cockring.

More sucky marketing

What really pisses me off is that they don’t care that they are promoting body shame in order to market these toys. All of what they are doing says “You are not good enough, you aren’t tight enough, you aren’t sexy enough.” and then they have the gall to use misdirection and something called “Controversial Content” that says that controversy done right can hugely boost your reach. Now I get how we got here, it is our own fault because we click on this shit BECAUSE it makes us angry. Hell Donald Trump’s whole campaign is based on how we react to this.

I don’t think that Lelo with Charlie Sheen or Ann Summers made a misstep, I think they chose this because it makes us upset and angry, I think they are companies who really don’t give a fuck about us and our opinions and only care about how many units they move, and I know that some people think that is ok, after all it’s nothing personal, it’s just business. But I think the way you do business matters, that honesty and integrity in how you market is better in the long term than preying on the insecurities of your customers. Just because something works doesn’t mean you should do it.

So how should we handle this? Well I for one will never purchase a product from these companies ever again and I will tell everyone I can to avoid them as well. I will no longer quote retweet their tweets but instead use a screencap of their crap. I will not link to their sites so they get the clicks they are looking for. I will do everything I can to starve them of the attention that they seek. I will no longer be used as the tool they think I am.

So what about you? Do you think that what I shall henceforth call “Outrage Marketing” is an acceptable practice? Or do you think we need to hold these companies to a higher standard than this? Or am I just wasting my breath?



5 thoughts on “Outrage Marketing

  1. Thanks for the heads up. I haven’t yet bought anything from either company. They totally lost me with the word vajayjay…. what grade are they in anyway? Junior high? (sorry, totally dating myself with that one.. I mean totally…..)

    Contouring my vagina? What the hell for and how would you even do that anyway?

    Whatever happened to honesty and acceptance?

  2. I was one of the daft one that fell hook, link and sinker for that click bait advert that enraged me so much I actually logged into my private Facebook account to watch it! All that as someone who refuses to spend any money with that company because of past advertised faux pas they had committed.

    Yes, I think these practises should be stopped, as far as I can see it falls under the banner of false advertising. It wouldn’t be allowed if it were a TV ad, so why is it allowed through other mediums?

  3. I have nothing more other than to echo Suzi. Well said.

    And we need to find a way to make it unprofitable for them to do this.

  4. While I love a good dose of smut or even the most obvious of double entrendes, I have precious little time for point-and-giggle attitudes to sex, epitomised by novelty items in the “adult” section of joke shops and elsewhere, which is one reason why I’ve never liked Ann Summers much. The last time I went in one was a couple of years ago to see their “bondage” items, alongside – and obviously to cash in with – official Fifty Shades products (the appearance of which instantly got my back up anyway).
    What I found horrified me. Their Diamante Riding Crop (still available on their website) was almost totally inflexible, leading me to surmise it was nothing more than a thin metal tube loosely covered with one unpadded layer of material (I have visually impaired friends with symbol canes, and this seemed to be very similar). Despite asking the staff in the shop, plus sending three emails and numerous tweets, they refused to tell me what the shaft of this “riding crop” was constructed of, even after I expressed concerns it might be dangerous. Tellingly, the attached tag was printed with a disclaimer, which included “Obviously this is not intended to be used for equestrian pursuits.”
    So, happy to sell a riding crop not fit to use on a horse while knowing full well people will use it on each other. I have nothing but absolute contempt for them.

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