Agency or Porn: Masters of Sex Meet Masters of Selling

If you were online in the last week you may have seen one question posed to you on your social feeds: Agency or Porn? We launched the project as a fun internal marketing campaign at 88 Creative, and wanted to give a glimpse into the campaign’s creation and how we launched it to the world.


If you were online in the last week you may have seen one question posed to you on your social feeds: Agency or Porn? We launched the project as a fun internal marketing campaign at 88 Creative, and wanted to give a glimpse into the campaign’s creation and how we launched it to the world.

The Idea:

Self-promotional projects can be a really fun way to get the entire office excited and involved with a project. We started with an all-agency brainstorm, which sparked a conversation, which led to an idea. One of the most important things to consider when concocting an idea is to have a purpose; ours was simply a fun way to get our studio name out in the creative community. Our goal was to create something that could be produced relatively fast, be cost-effective, and would be easily shareable.

The ‘Agency or Porn’ idea came out of one single comment: “Hey, that agency (which shall remain nameless) sounds like a porno, I wonder how many other agencies sound like pornos too?” This sparked the idea of asking people to decide which was which, which isn’t a revolutionary or original idea. There have been others similar such as ‘Death Metal or Ikea Furniture.’ We just thought it was a clever spin on an existing idea, and thought it would resonate well with the creative community.

Since this was an internal project, there were no creative limitations, and we had full control over how it was going to be executed. We took a minimalist approach and decided to keep it as simple as possible. Along with the website, we created posters and postcards to promote the website, which were circulated around the city after the launch.

So how did we launch it?

We launched AgencyorPorn.com on Thursday, August 6th through a variety of online and offline tactics. We mailed postcards to all agencies featured on the list, as well several journalists and over 50 of our agency contacts in Canada who we thought would appreciate it. We put up posters in our neighbourhood, the King/Spadina “Agency Alley” where we knew people would see it on their walk to work or while they were out on their lunch break. Of course we took to social media, our bread and butter. We shared the link on our social channels, Tweeted all the agencies featured on the site, and tagged people we thought would appreciate it. We ran a promoted Facebook post targeted to fans of the big ad publications, and tried to run a Promoted Tweet but it was rejected because, well, it had the word “porn” in it. We submitted it to Reddit, Hacker News, and Product Hunt. And we proactively pitched it to the top media/marketing/advertising publications around the world.

The results:

Since launching the site, we’ve had over 57,000 unique visitors to the site from over 150 countries. The site’s social share buttons had over 3,000 Facebook shares & 500 Tweets, and it was shared 250 times on LinkedIn (apparently it #SFW enough for that network).

We were worried agencies wouldn’t be happy to be on the list, but turns out people love being part of Agency or Porn! We’ve had several agencies post about the campaign and their inclusion on the list, and we’ve also had several agencies like Beef request to be added to the list (you might just be able to find some of them added to the game, though we wouldn’t want to spoil the game for you).

The campaign was also covered in media outlets all over the world, including Marketing Magazine and Strategy magazine in Canada; AdWeek, Ad Age, AdLand, DesignTaxi, and MediaPost in the U.S.; Campaign magazine in the UK; and international publications in Japan, Germany, France, Lithuania, Spain, and Sweden.

Check out the results below:

AP Stats (1)

Overall we had a ton of positive comments about the site, and lots of great feedback from agencies, journalists, and marketers around the world. Stay tuned for our next fun campaign!

Cory is 88 Creative’s senior designer. You can see more of his work (and his cottage!) on his Instagram.