Love turf war is on...

Online Dating Turf War in the Tube
Tribute to Sergeant Pepper

Large cities like London, Paris or Berlin are renown for being reservoirs of lonely hearts. Online dating is, as you can imagine, a major online business and the current challenge for the various players is to recruit a sufficient customer base to monetise it properly. A few days after Valentine's day, love brokers are consequently investing loads of money to increase their brand awareness and traffic to their website.

But where to intercept the young urbans who constitute the core audience of these sites? Well, the Tube has got a very high likeability to be selected since the bespoke target market is very likely to use public transports to commute. As a result, for a few weeks now you have been able to enjoy a few advertising campaigns in the London tube. And since the media planning strategy of the two dominant brands tend to be convergent, that leads to some awkward and funny situations like the one pictured above.

In the left corner, DatingDirect, the new acquisition of French giant Meetic in the UK. Created by advertising agency V, the campaign describes how the rules have changed in the traditional game of seduction. In a society where everyone agrees that it is about time to finally get rid of sexism, the adverts demonstrate how girls are now applying the Spice Girls' creed: Girl Power. After all why wait for charming prince to come riding his white battle steed when you can put your hand on him... Literally! See the TV commercial at the end of this article for more vivid images of this concept. But for the time being, this mini poster will do the trick: "Let him make the first move" pretends the headline, whilst you can already see in her glance that she is not ready to wait that long...

What makes the situation even more incongruous is that, a few meters away, their competitor, match.com, seems to answer with their own poster. In their advertising, the US-originated site epitomises the two mythical deities involved in love relationships: Cupid and Fate. The creative relays in the personification of these two characters as anti-heroes on which you cannot apparently count any more: they hang up at the pub, play video games... And in our tube carriage they do aerobics! Ironically could this be the above-mentioned "first move" DatingDirect was referring to? Moving your body in rhythm...

Anyway, the war is on, and such a personal service calls for always more creativity to stand out of the clutter. So as a advertising fan, I am delighted because these jousts are likely to bring the various players to new areas of disruption. Unfortunately for them, I am extremely interested in their marketing moves, but little in their product. Have I mentioned that I was married since October 2007? Sorry... Too late, mates!

Finally, as promised, here is the UK TV commercial for DatingDirect released late 2007 (thanks Raphael):

And for the full length version, unfortunately with French supers but images are self-explanatory:

And to remain unbiased here is one of the Fate&Cupid videos available on their microsite alongside with games:

1 comment:

  1. hi cedric,
    first of all, i do confirm you got married so no need for you to subscribe to meetic or match.com ;-)

    I have just heard of a German website that allows any traveller to post an ad to let the very pretty blond woman know that he would be delighted to meet her again on line 12...


    This website has already more than one million visitors!

    A new competitor for Meetic and the others?

    Love is on the tube... for sure!