Who: Wow Tech Group, The Garden and IMA Outdoor.
What: An attention-grabbing billboard featuring a female sex toy called Womanizer, accompanied by the headline: “Scream your own name.”
When & Where: Alongside one of the busiest highways in Canada, the board has been up for three weeks—which is a big deal, see below—with plans to introduce new creative on the same board through the rest of the year.
What is Wow Tech: An Ottawa-based business that markets sexual health and wellness products. Wow Tech was one of The Garden’s first clients. The agency took on the business because a larger agency in Toronto didn’t want to work with them due to the sensitive nature of their category. “We have always seen the value in this brand,” said Shari Walczak, The Garden co-founder and executive strategy director. “This is a company that believes in the importance of sexual wellness and empowerment for women and the value of developing and maintaining intimacy between partners.”
Why is the billboard a big deal? Wow Tech believes in empowering female sexuality, health and wellbeing. But until now, they’ve had a hard time getting media vendors to run their ads. Not even Facebook would let them buy space. “They have attempted to run boards in the past, but they would always end up getting taken down,” said Walczak.
From the client: “When you are in the business of promoting women’s sexual pleasure and all the benefits that go with that, you’re used to being rejected,” said Stephanie Keating, marketing manager at Wow Tech Group. “We approach every media buy with trepidation, as we never know if our investment it going to see the light of day. Regardless of the medium—traditional, digital, social, podcasting—our ads have been censored even when they contain no explicit or suggestive content. You can use sex to sell anything, except if it’s women’s pleasure.”