Ann Summers targets older women

Ann Summers is hoping to use its Sex Census, in partnership with relationship charity Relate, to gain more credibility with older women in the latest phase of its brand overhaul.

Relate and Ann Summers

The Sex Census 2012, surveyed almost 25,000 people in the UK about their sex lives and claims to be the biggest  survey of its kind. Both Ann Summers and Relate hope to use the data gleaned from the survey to gain a better understanding of “what makes the nation tick”.

Ann Summers hopes that the partnership and Sex Census will help it appeal to a broader audience and make sure the brand is associated with the serious side of a healthy sex life.

It is part of Ann Summer ongoing efforts to refresh its brand and overhaul consumers’ perceptions of it. It has already overhauled its brand communications, product ranges and stores. Earlier this year it named Lucy Moore, a size 16 non-model, as the face of its Valentine’s Day advertising campaign earlier this year after inviting real women to star in the ad and asking fans to vote via Facebook.

A spokesperson for the retailer says that it hopes that the partnership with Relate will help it gain more credibility and authority around relationships and sex and “change a generational mindset” with a more mature audience that doesn’t necessarily believe that the Ann Summers brand is relevant to them.

Relate hoped to broaden perceptions of its brand and services beyond relationship counselling to include sex therapy.

The partnership, and findings from the survey will be promoted in Ann Summers stores, parties, online and though a PR campaign as well as at Relate’s relationship therapy clinics and schools.

Ann Summers and Relate partnered in December to launch the survey, expecting around 4,000 respondents. It attracted 24,000 in the course of the poll. It claims that during the five-week survey, engagement on its Facebook page increased 320% and ‘Likes’ doubled. Relate also saw a 22% increase in unique views of its sex therapy pages on its website.

Both parties hope to make the dual branded survey an annual census.

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Tom Fishburne is founder of Marketoon Studios. Follow his work at or on Twitter @tomfishburne See more of the Marketoonist here


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