Match.com’s Weird Ad Campaign

This ad for online dating web site Match.com is part of a campaign that also includes TV commercials. The commercials are bizarre.

While it’s a good idea to show real-looking people, the people shown in the TV commercials and print ads aren’t particularly attractive and they seem weird.

Apparently, I’m not the only one who feels this way. There are a number of parodies of the commercials posted on YouTube (search for: match.com it’s okay to look).

Here’s one of the parodies:

You can bet that these parodies weren’t posted on YouTube because the commercials are beloved.

Back to the print ad. There are three messages in the ad:

  1. If you don’t find someone special on Match.com in six months, they’ll give you six months free. They’re selling an offer.
  2. A woman with the username NYCGingerGirl is online now. They’re selling the product (the members).
  3. It’s okay to look. They’re answering an objection by countering a negative perception that people might have about online dating services.

The strongest message, six months free, isn’t prominent and it’s written in tiny print. It’s a good offer. Why not put it in a big bold headline? The offer is probably strong enough to sell the service all by itself. Six months free is a good deal.

The part about NYCGingerGirl being online is difficult to read and it isn’t true. As far as I know, there’s no magic paper that can tell whether or not someone is online (at least not yet). Since a print ad is static, it’s always going to say online now. Unless this person lives online, the chances are she’s not online now. As a matter of fact, as I write this, she’s probably asleep.

It’s okay to look is patronizing. No one needs Match.com to tell them what’s okay to do.

Maybe it’s time for a new ad campaign.

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