One of Today’s Weirdest Creative Teams Has a Tough New Mission: Fighting Porn Addiction

Harmon Brothers are promoting an app called Covenant Eyes

A superhero called Colossal Man has some struggles at home, including a 20-year porn addiction.
Harmon Brothers

Harmon Brothers, the masterminds behind Squatty Potty’s pooping unicorn, have taken on a topic even more taboo than bathroom habits: porn addiction. But despite the lecture-from-a-youth-pastor vibe of the topic, the ad creatives manage to keep their cheeky sense of humor intact.

Creating a superhero called Colossal Man, who can hoist an occupied car but can’t single-handedly stamp out his dependence on porn, the boutique agency sprinkles the new work with sight gags, buddy comedy and wacky situations.

“We knew this was going to be a big challenge,” says Daniel Harmon, chief creative officer, noting that the team drew on its history of dealing with delicate subjects, like human waste (Poo Pourri) and below-the-belt body odor (Lume). “We all poop, we all have body odor, and a whole lot of people struggle with pornography, whether we talk about it or not.”

The 5-minute digital film, starring Colossal Man; his wife, Jen; and his friend, Jeff (aka Wingman), touts an app from a brand called Covenant Eyes. The software, with accountability built in via users’ hand-picked allies, aims to “break the shame cycle” that keeps people addicted to watching Internet porn even when they want to quit, according to the pitch.

Colossal Man walks viewers through his journey, where he likens porn to “an alluring purple rock” that was “so intoxicating” to his 12-year-old self. Curiosity as an adolescent turned to habit as an adult, which led to addiction, he says, damaging his relationships.

Jeff and Jen are on hand with clever asides to lighten up the weighty issue. The former proves that sending up a flare, literally, might bring assistance but also trashes a living room ceiling. Jen, with a wink, wink, alludes to how much their marriage has improved since Colossal Man cleaned up his act.

The long-form commercial, with its lengthy descriptor—“Sick and tired of trying to quit porn, you’re not alone. Try this.”—debuts today from the Provo, Utah-based agency that’s consistently hit a viral vein with its videos for Purple, Chatbooks, FiberFix, Orabrush and others.

Porn addiction has been a hot topic in recent years, landing on the cover of Time magazine with the headline, “Porn and the threat to virility.” A Super Bowl spot this year, from Heinz Kraft’s Devour, intentionally framed a guy’s frozen food addiction to look like he was obsessed with X-rated porn. It was a just compulsion to eat TV dinners and the like, but the brand released an “uncensored” 60-second version of the ad online to further play out the joke. Some people, like addiction specialists, were not amused.

The World Health Organization even waded into the fray, sort of, when it updated its international classification of diseases last year, including “compulsive sexual behavior” as an impulse-control disorder. (That’s not the same as an addiction, by the group’s definition, but a number of media outlets made that leap).

Covenant Eyes CEO Ron DeHaas says he wants to “change the national conversation,” and hopes the video will mean that “everyone will feel that they can be open, honest and find the strength to do something” about porn addiction.

CREDITS:
Agency: Harmon Brothers
Chief Creative Officer: Daniel Harmon
Chief Operating Officer: Benton Crane
Producer: Josh Stofferahn
Writers: Jessica Vance, Kellen Erskine, Jake Christensen & Jonny Vance
Creative Director: Shane Rickard
Director: Shane Rickard
Co-Director: Jonny Vance
1st AD: Willem Kampenhout
Director of Photography: Tyler Stevens
1St AC: Paul Green
2nd AC: Danny James/Kevin Lyde
Gaffer: Phil Shepard
Key Grip: Kevin Woodward
Grips: Danny Haskell, Jesse Shephard, KeaLii Johnson
Art & Production Design: Jonas Sappington, Sam Demke, Dakota Miller
Script Supervisor: Jonah Rindlisbacher
Locations: Adam Bohl
Casting Director: Ben Cummings
Production Sound: Dave Adamic
Hair & Makeup: Danielle Donahue
Costume & Wardrobe: Allyson Hancey
Wardrobe Assitant: Shantell Guy
Stunt Team: Robert Bennett, Corbett McAllister, Ronnie Shalvis, Todd Robbins
Special Effects: Mike Roundy, Ryan Roundy,
On Set VFX Supervision: Bryson Alley
Teleprompter: Jake Christensen
Crafty: Christina Stevens
DIT: Blake Brust
Set Medic: Austin Huber
Client Lead: Kurt Horn
Creative Consultation: Jed Wells
Lead Editor: Jonah Rindlisbacher
Assistant Editor: Blake Brust
VFX Supervisor: Tyler Stevens
Post Production Supervisor: Bryson Alley
Illustration & Graphic Design: Mike Henderson
Motion Graphics: Nick Ritter
Sound Designer: Joe Beleston

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