Ad Nut
May 29, 2023

Lelo puts self-pleasure on full display in Hong Kong

Taboos be dammed, Swedish sex toy company plays with temptation to commemorate International Masturbation Day in its debut OOH campaign in Asia.

Lelo puts self-pleasure on full display in Hong Kong

Everyone has sex, but not everyone talks about pleasure.

Feeling good should feel good but somehow sexual pleasure carries the innate ability to make people blush and instead opt for discretion. The startling success of the sexual wellness industry valued at US$81.2 billion in 2021 and expected to grow to US$116 billion by 2030, speaks otherwise and makes Ad Nut hopeful of a thriving behind-the-curtains indulgence at play.

Sex sells but it’s hard to sell sex. Even though humans are fundamentally embracing sexual wellness, marketing and advertising love toys and the big O still packs a load of regulatory handcuffs as tight as a chastity belt—the word “sexual pleasure” is taboo on social, digital and print media.

Social media shadowbanning is real. A rationale that cannot be deciphered or grasped by Ad Nut. Little wonder then that sex toy brands find themselves tiptoeing around shifting rules and changing algorithms and blanket keyword bans to reach their target audience to sell something that can’t be seen.

Mastering that art is Swedish sex toy major, Lelo that has managed to bypass the rudimentary advertising limitations to launch its first Asian OOH campaign in Hong Kong that sparks the conversation on masturbation. The campaign commemorates the International Masturbation Day (May 28) with two intersecting trams in the heart of the city, on Jubilee Street and Central Station, wrapped in bold red and cheeky ‘come together’ graphics. The idea is to ensure that sex-positive messages penetrate deep into the consciousness of pleasure-seekers in Hong Kong as the two trams cross each other. 

Joanna Fung, Lelo’s head of business development, Asia Pacific remarks: “Over the past 20 years we have seen attitudes towards sexual wellbeing change, it is encouraging to see that the subject is becoming more and more mainstream. By undertaking this OOH campaign, LELO hopes to remain at the forefront of sex positivity and spark curious conversations.”

Now tools of enhancement hold little allure to Ad Nut—a jungle creature’s pleasure lies in the realm of instincts and primal instincts alone. Satisfaction for Ad Nut equates to seductive, playful chases through the branches followed by boundless exploration in the warmth of the sun.

That said, humans with their intricate desires and delicate sensibilities can only benefit from some candour around the vibrating wonders, tantalising textures and the innovative designs that rev up one’s engines. There is nothing shameful about pleasure, or self-love for that matter.

Ad Nut like the encouraging sexual wellness messaging here; the OOH is not wildly creative or terribly provocative to tease or titillate Ad Nut’s hedonistic spirit but plays within the boundaries of what’s legally acceptable in outdoor advertising. More importantly, it helps initiate a conversation around sexual pleasure bringing it to the forefront of overall wellbeing, and that Ad Nut appreciates. 

Now if only the fine folks making these rigid regulations would understand that everyone has a sexual self. Prohibitions only add to shame, they do not stop people from consuming suggestive content through the same media that bans advertising.

The bold red 'pleasure' trams are plying in Hong Kong all through this week. And if you're keen to explore, Lelo’s intimate treasure troves can be found at Sally's ToyTake ToysWaddy Store, and Les Play in the SAR.

Ad Nut is a surprisingly literate woodland creature that for unknown reasons has an unhealthy obsession with advertising. Ad Nut gathers ads from all over Asia and the world for your viewing pleasure, because Ad Nut loves you. You can also check out Ad Nut's Advertising Hall of Fame, or read about Ad Nut's strange obsession with 'murderous beasts'.


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