Friday, June 13, 2008 Performance Art?

The radio ads for are so strange, so bizarrely desperate and weird that I do sometimes suspect that they're not meant to be enticements to visit the site at all, but perhaps some sort of meta-commentary on the futility of attempting to convince people to buy your product with persuasive discourse. Last year, for example, they ran a series of ads discussing how you could sign other people up for the dating service if you didn't want to use it on your own behalf. " the yenta in you!" (I can only assume that they stopped doing this because of all the potentials for disaster that could result. "Honey, we decided we didn't like the man you were dating, so we signed you up for Here's Harold, we think he'd be a much better boyfriend for you.")

Later, they took to emphasizing their "six months free" promise. As in, "If you don't meet someone within the first six months, we'll give you another six months free." That's right, if you've wasted your time and money on our website in a seeming eternity of desperate loneliness...hey, you'll just waste time from now on!

Their latest campaign is all about how "easy-to-use" the site is. How easy? Well, they say that you can learn via a page of hints and tips from experienced users, their "best customers". But is a service whose goal is to try to get you not to use it anymore. If you've been using long enough to figure out every detail of its web interface, then you're clearly not their "best customer"--you're someone who apparently has nothing better to do on a Friday night than figure out how to adjust your profile on a dating website. The people whose advice you want to listen to would tell you, "I dunno--I put up my information, met a nice girl/guy in about five minutes, and never needed to use the site again."

I can understand that advertising a personals service is probably difficult, as there is a bit of a stigma attached to using one, but even by those standards, has a strange, flop-sweat desperation to its ads. Still, at least it's an entertaining desperation. It could be worse. They could be the guys at "It's Just Lunch".

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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