Yes, this week we’re talking about adult toys retailer Lovehoney, the online site which offers all manner of “sexual wellness” assistance, from the low-end Tracey Cox Edge Cup Stamina Stroker (a snip at £19.99) to the slightly more pricey Fifty Shades of Grey Greedy Girl G-Spot Rabbit Vibrator (just £69.99) through to the CyberSkin Twerking Butt Elite Realistic Sex Machine (a not inconsiderable £699.99) to the Cowgirl Premium Remote and App Controlled Riding Sex Machine ( a whopping £1,499.99 but obviously worth it if the five star reviews are to be believed).
You see, us lockdown Brits have not only been baking, creating and music making, it appears we’ve been flicking the bean, spanking the monkey and Jacking The Beanstalk (told you it could be decidedly “adult” this week). But it has not been just “Hands Solo”; couples have been hard at it, too.
So it is perhaps not too surprising that Lovehoney grabbed one of the packages from Ocean Outdoor’s Crucial Creative Competition – the £1m prize fund to help give advertisers and agencies the kiss of life in post-Covid Britain – with both hands.
The sex toy flogger was one of three joint runners-up, landing £250,000 worth of ad space, with Innocent Drinks scooping the big one, the £500,000 first prize.
Enter agency Brave with a brief to get consumers to let their fingers do the talking and log on to the Lovehoney site. Its solution? Why the “Light Relief in Lockdown” campaign, of course, designed to raise a smile and get people clicking and flicking.
The two-week campaign runs from this week until September 8 on digital outdoor sites located around London, at the Gypsy Corner junction of the A40, the Holland Park Roundabout next to Westfield London shopping centre, Meridian Steps and Northern Ticket Hall at Westfield Stratford, Hammersmith Broadway, the Eastern Lights on the A13, High Street Kensington and the Two Towers at Canary Wharf, if you fancy a gawp.
Ocean Outdoor joint managing director Phil Hall said: “Focusing on the new vocabulary of social distancing, lockdown and masks, Brave has linked this to Lovehoney’s range of products to raise a smile. Acknowledging that some may find it risqué, the judges [of the Crucial Creative Competition] felt it was both cheeky and grown-up, without appearing smutty or crass, leaving the viewer to find the joke by letting the logo do a lot of the work.”
Lovehoney brand and marketing director Helen Balmer added: “Our aim was to create a message/campaign which not only raises a smile, but also conveys that sexual happiness can support our overall wellbeing during these unprecedented times.”
So, what is the consensus around the Decision Marketing office?
Are we grown up enough to have a conversation about butt plugs, penis sleeves and dildos? What do you think? Nah, we sniggered all day at the very prospect, winced at some of the toys, flinched at others, although the ads did raise a titter.
Whether they will drive us to the Lovehoney site to get our fill of silicon fingers and twerking rubber butts is another matter. But, all in all, they have made a decent fist of it.
Decision Marketing Adometer: An “oo’er missus, even Frankie Howard would have been proud of some of these puns” 7½ out of 10