It’s often said that sex sells and online retailer Love Honey has set about proving this with its own Google Maps concoction.
The online sex shop was looking to boost its profile in the £315m-a-year industry and decided to build on the long love affair between consumers and novelty online applications.
Love Honey set about making an interactiveheat map, showing the most amorous and the most prudish areas of the UK. An anonymous sample of more than 500,000 orders placed at the e-commerce site was aggregated into regions that match the population statistics from the UK Census. It then divided the amount of money spent in each region by the number of people who live there to reveal the average spend per head on all sex products. This was then plotted on the map, with a heat scale from ranging from bright red (“scorchio”), marking the areas with the highest concentration of sex product purchases, through to a prudish blue (“Frosty”). Thus the UK Sex Map was born.
Every town with a population of over 10,000 was included and separated by annual spend per-capita. The site is updated with monthly data, and users can search for their own home towns to see how “sexy” they are. They have been careful to ensure that you can’t zoom in too far to see any actual delivery address – your neighbours aren’t going to be happy if you can work out how many sex toys they have had delivered in the past year. For each location, you can also see a top 10 list of most popular sex toy purchases and how your town fares against others in the locality.
Links offering quick purchases were included, while the site provided banner ads and other materials featuring messages like “How sexy is your town?” for use on local sites with the aim of generating a sense of competition.
The project was a product of the website’s ongoing strategy to increase consumer involvement and was made possible thanks to the increasingly cheap online mapping tools.