Bootstrapped and without VC money to throw around, Eat24 looked for a cheaper, more effective way to get the word out: advertising on porn sites.

Cost per impression on adult sites was dead cheap compared with the likes of Google, Facebook, and Twitter. Not to mention, the reach on porn sites would surpass those three sites at about one-tenth the cost.

Eat24's porn ads saw three times the impressions compared with Google, Twitter, and Facebook combined.

Eat24 saw a spike in orders and app downloads during the campaign, especially at night.

Porn sees a lot of engagement.

Chicago leads as the city watching the most porn and ordering the most food.

What food do people order when they're in the mood?

The ad that decried pants resonated most with hungry porn viewers.

Advertising On Porn Sites Works, Just Ask Eat24

With low CPM and huge reach, Eat24 targeted porn watchers with its provocative banner ads.

Bootstrapped and without VC money to throw around, Eat24 looked for a cheaper, more effective way to get the word out: advertising on porn sites.

While brands are reticent to associate themselves with adult sites, Eat24 has openly embraced the community, with some of its biggest users being real-life porn stars, such as Tera Patrick, Daisy Lynn, Andy San Dimas, and Tara Lynn Foxx. "It makes perfect sense when you think about it," according to a case study from the company. "They enjoy a life without pants and are constantly working up a huge appetite. Eat24 and porn stars are a match made in sexy heaven!" (Judging by ads from GrubHub and Seamless, Eat24's not the only food delivery startup that saw the connection between food and sex.)

"We're always looking for unique ways to spread our brand message," Eat24's social media chief Amir Eisenstein told Fast Company in an email. "As far as mainstream brand advertising goes, porn is about as 'different' as you can get. With the high traffic and low cost, it was an easy decision for us to just go for it. Also (most importantly), we have gigantic balls."

Cost per impression on adult sites was dead cheap compared with the likes of Google, Facebook, and Twitter. Not to mention, the reach on porn sites would surpass those three sites at about one-tenth the cost. With no mainstream brands to compete against, Eat24 considered porn advertising an untapped market and sought to capture the attention of this audience. Or, as the company put it in its case study: "Tap. Dat. Ass."

Because the vast majority of ads on porn sites are for more porn (and rarer, ads for live cams and male enhancement drugs), Eat24 emphasized the connection between food and sex. The image results for food and sex turned up pages of women doing provocative things with bananas, but that wasn't Eat24's business. Instead, it decided to play up some themes within porn and came up with the following:

Some findings from this ad campaign:

  • Eat24's porn ads saw three times the impressions compared with Google, Twitter, and Facebook combined.
  • Banner ads received five times more clicks when placed next to the video (it's what they see as they wait for a video to buffer).
  • During the campaign, Eat24 saw a spike in orders and app downloads at night.
  • More than 90% of people coming into Eat24's site from these ads were first-time visitors.
  • The cost per impression was 90% less than the big guys, enough for the campaign to run a few weeks. With Facebook, the company went through its media spend within minutes.
  • Regional trends: New Yorkers watch a lot of porn on their lunch break. Chicago is considered the "hongriest" (horny and hungry) city in the U.S. Starting the day right, Houston saw high click-through rates before and during breakfast. Highest click-through rates at night were in Baltimore and Washington D.C.

[Images: Eat24, Flickr user Todd Kulesza]

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