Around in some form since the 90s, the company hit upon an idea at the turn of the millennium that was seemingly as simple as it was dumb. An April 2005 Adult Video News (AVN) interview with Bang Productions president Penn Davis describes his concept: “BangBus entails [men] cruising the streets in a pimped-out van and picking up unsuspecting girls who think they’re going to be paid for sex. After being thoroughly fucked, the girls get ‘kicked to the curb.’ ” A dumb idea that launched more than a dozen other subsequent dumb ideas. These preposterously profitable dumb ideas created a very smart brand that has beaten the odds by standing out in the saturated online pornography market.
Bang Productions now creates loads of content to supply its fiefdom of websites and DVDs series. On the cutting edge of the online porn profit model, the brand offers subscription packages allowing access across its sites, such as Tug Jobs, Monsters of Cock, Mr. Camel-toe, Mom’s Anal Adventure, and M.I.L.F. Lessons. (See here for information on M.I.L.F. Warning: may be NSFW.)
“World Famous,” the brand’s original tagline, has become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Bangbros is critically acclaimed as innovators, winning the 2006 AVN Award for Best Amateur Series and for Best Amateur Release. (Amateur meaning “genre”). While the brand might not seem that popular considering its size, there’s a good chance someone near you knows about the Bangbros, even if he/she won’t admit it.
In the process of “rocking the Internet,” the brand exposed a few things about the entire porn industry. First, authenticity (perceived, anyway) is the future. Second, the porn market is like any increasingly segmented consumer market with copious, marginally differentiated sub-brands of a product. In porn, this means different “storylines” with the same actress are increasingly less important than the same storyline with different actresses.
But the most important Bangbros breakthrough: Porn can be funny, and as a result, fun.
Combining MTV’s “Jackass” and “Punk’d” programs with sex, Bangbros creates hardcore pornography so juvenilely delinquent that all of the somberness or embarrassment associated with being a porn consumer is removed. It has re-engineered the very emotional state from which one watches porn, making BangBus film director and mascot, Dirty (or D.) Sanchez, this generation’s Hugh Hefner.
The “boys will be boys” perspective makes the “depravity” of a Bangbros product, and porn in general, seem like a joke. That is because, according to Bangbros, porn is a joke. Just check out BangBus’ frequently asked questions (FAQ) section on its website:
Q: Why is the sky blue and not red, purplely flower sprinkles?
A: Because God is heterosexual.
By its own declaration, Bangbros is, of course, against God; but not God the puritanical, God the heterosexual. Using its success as a model, Bangbros created “Bait Bus.” As described by AVN: “Bait Bus, the gay companion to BangBus, entails ‘straight guys’ getting into the van where an attractive girl talks them into being blindfolded, and then the ‘bait and switch’ is pulled with a guy.”
The brand’s content has become so standardized and reliable within each of its series that Bangbros has even changed its approach to its website’s “episode trailer” or “free preview” segments (part and parcel of every online porn site). Instead of showing a graphic 10- to 60-second collage of a particular episode, Bangbros sites now teasingly feature no penetration and no money shots. No more freebies. You’ll have to pay to see the goods.
Of course Bangbros success is now being aped across the Internet: Back Seat Bangers; Bang Boat; Bitch Mobile; My Friend's Hot Mom; My First Sex Teacher; and the BangBus-themed fully-animated Suck Bus, just to name a few. The Bangbros FAQ section even acknowledges these Johnnies-come-lately, “Remember, most of those copiers are actual “zipper pimps,” a rare breed indeed. If you can't picture one, just think of the boy who walks with a cane for no valid pedestrian reason, wears Kangol hats, and packs a small penis. Copying us has resulted in a few quick bucks, but when you don't ideas of your own, success doesn't last…” All [sic], of course.
[Sic] and very, very funny.