Ironically, the Swedish city of Malmö believes dirty talk is the best strategy to keep your surroundings clean. As part of a campaign aimed at encouraging people to dispose of their garbage properly and reduce litter on the streets, the seaside city has now programmed its rubbish bins to sense when trash is fed into its mouth and respond to users with seductive audio messages.
Pedestrians who drop litter into one of two green bins—installed on the Davidshallsbron Bridge—are rewarded with “extremely positive feedback” from a sultry female voice, who offers a range of responses including: “Come back quickly and do that again,” “Ooooh yeah, right there,” “Aaaah, that was crazy good,” “Hmmm, thank you” and “Hmmm, a bit more to the left next time.”
According to Marie Persson, the section chief of Malmö’s roads department, Sweden’s latest initiative (incentivising boners with clean streets) essentially seeks to give “a positive reinforcement to people who do the right thing, by giving them a laugh.”
“[It’s] a new, humorous way to get across our message,” Persson told the Sydsvenskan newspaper. “The sentences are part of the campaign’s intention to get more people to talk about the dirtiest thing there is: littering. The stuff that ends up in our streets, squares, and sea.” The section chief continued by highlighting how the city had bought 18 of these “advanced rubbish bins” in 2017, but only two speak in the seductive voice so far.
“So please go ahead and feed the bins with more rubbish… yes, just like that,” Persson concluded, adding that the sultry voice—which speaks in Swedish—belongs to “a famous person” who wants to remain anonymous.
While Sweden’s ‘humorous’ approach to curb littering has gathered a bit of praise online, most of the conversations point out how “tone deaf and creepy” the so-called ‘innovation’ is.
“That’s misogynistic and sexist 🤮,” a user commented on YouTube, while another added how the initiative is more of “an insult to women than a ‘creative’ solution to littering.” On the other hand, some users also highlighted how the garbage bin is far from being kid-friendly. “Good luck explaining this to your child when he/she passes by it… that this [is] funny… and then they imitate that ‘funny’ sound… What a ‘civilized’ idea!” a Twitter user noted.
Pornhub Cares is the philanthropic division of the world’s largest porn website and it’s clear to see through its marketing strategy that the company is highly aware of issues that go beyond the sex industry. The ‘artistic enterprise’—as they call it themselves—merges together the charitable contribution of the porn tycoon with a witty creative strategy that sees unexpected collaborations rising. Since its launch in 2012, Pornhub Cares has offered school scholarships of $25,000 for women pursuing an education in STEM, supported breast cancer research with Save the Boobs videos, and had campaigns to save both wales and bees, such as in Beesexual, a collection of videos of bees foraging dubbed by Pornhub’s most iconic actors).
Of course, Pornhub Cares had to step up for the environment, thus the collaboration with Ocean Polymers (a non-profit that has developed a solution to collect and process plastic waste in the world’s oceans and seas), with whom they launched their latest campaign Dirtiest Porn Ever. For the occasion, the company produced a video featuring an amateur couple having sex on a beach covered in mountains of litter that obstructed the view of the couple’s naughty bits. “The initiative and support from Pornhub is inspired and appreciated. Whilst I’m sure for some it may not initially appear like the most obvious match for our project, we are thrilled that Pornhub has engaged with us and displayed a commitment to utilizing their voice and reach for positive action,” said Heather Wigglesworth, executive director and project and operations manager of Ocean Polymers.
Pornhub does seem to care. Beyond its Cares branch, Pornhub is keen to promote sex education and health through the Sexual Wellness Centre, a channel where users could learn about the mysteries of sex from experts who provide medical, biological, emotional and erotic knowledge on how to lead an exciting but aware sexual life. One of its recent sex-ed ‘lessons’ looks at perhaps the most taboo subjects of them all: period sex. The initiative, called F*ck Your Period, exposes—through an impressively scripted and animated video—the benefits of having period sex (from a female perspective), and offers free access to Pornhub Premium HD videos to female subscribers registered on the platform for the duration of their periods, whose dates are calculated by the programme itself. If this isn’t genius marketing then I don’t know what it is.
But it’s not all empowerment and environmentalist campaigns for Pornhub. Last October, the company was largely criticised after it took it months to remove porn videos belonging to the independent label Girls Do Porn, which was sued by 22 women for bullying and coercing them into performing sex acts in front of the camera. Despite the fact that Girls Do Porn was eventually taken off the website’s official partner page, its videos uploaded by other accounts are still circulating on the platform.
Pornhub is far from being the perfect company in a flawless industry, but its attempt to make things right in a ‘dirty’ business and in an even ‘dirtier’ society has to be acknowledged. There are no doubts that the company has a huge responsibility in making sure its content does not promote exploitation and abuse, and that the road for a safe and healthy sex industry is still full of obstacles and controversy. But with a reach of 81 million visitors per day, Pornhub has enormous influential power and as Wigglesworth puts it, “It would be great to see more companies of this size and stature taking the same responsibility with the audience they engage.” So who’s next?