Vibrators: A Mainstream Product Continues to Shed its Taboo Past


  • Craig L. Davis Ohio University
  • Ellen J. Gerl Ohio University


vibrators, public relations, strategic planning, marketing, promotions, marketing communication, taboo products


In the past fifteen years, vibrator use has entered the mainstream. Research showed that a majority of men and women believed vibrator use to be a healthy part of their sexual lives. However, others found the use of vibrators embarrassing. Vibrator marketers addressed the image problem with innovative messaging and sampling strategies that connected sexual pleasure to a healthy lifestyle. Stressing the product’s popular acceptance and mass market availability, marketers gave consumers confidence to buy a vibrator without shame. This case can be used in marketing communications, public relations, or promotions classes at the undergraduate level.