Just a Thought, Maybe More People Would Try Online Dating If The Ads Weren’t So Corny

July 11, 2012  |  

To many, online dating is still that last ditch effort to escape the land of singledom, and though the stigma surrounding answering that age-old “so, how did you meet,” question has somewhat subsided, some of these dating sites are not helping the cause.

I started thinking about this when I was over on Jezebel and saw someone alerted them to the ad with the guy above running in Subways in New York City. The poster is for a new “social discovery” site known as Badoo that promises to connect quirky New Yorkers with other equally odd residents who share their unique tastes, so it’s not totally about dating but that appears to be what this man is about. Since the site’s whole niche is based on eccentric individuals they sort of get a break, however I don’t know anybody who’s checking for a brother with a hairy chest and gold chains looking to cuddle. In other words, if that’s the cream of the quirky crop, that 150 million users figure is more likely 150.

This ad took me back to the commercials I remember seeing for another new site called Zoosk. The name alone makes you question why you would even sign up and the equally goofy commercial that went along with it really had me questioning what type of people would actually join a site like this? I concluded that answer was no one I nor anyone I knew in real life was likely interested in dating. It’s one thing to be asked how you met and just say “online.” But there is a 99% chance someone is going to say “oh, which site?” and I’ll be damned if the word “Zoosk” roll off my tongue and someone has visions of a white man playing darts yelling “kakakow!” The commercial is clearly a spoof of dates gone wrong from not using the site but I just couldn’t place my faith in a site with such a name—and no acknowledgement of people outside the color spectrum of white, but that’s my next point.

On the other end of the spectrum, in what seems to be the upper echelon of the online dating world, are the swanky ads from the folks at e-harmony and match.com. There’s nothing corny about their swexy new ad spots but there’s also nothing diverse about them either. I can remember one, maybe two, occasions where I saw black faces in their ad campaigns and if I recall correctly the matched couple was well into their 50s or 60s. I don’t mind an older man but I’m not trying to date my grandfather. If the images in their ads are supposed to reflect the people signing up for the site, there appears to be nothing for me there.

And in a totally wrong monkey see-monkey do move, J.C Dixon has founded a new site known as attractiveblackingles.com which sounds inviting—if you actually live up to the site’s name. Following in the footsteps of beautifulpeople.com, you have to actually prove you’re attractive enough to have a profile on the site before you can start to e-meet and greet. Yeah, so Badoo it is.

Looking at these options, it’s not hard to see why black women reportedly have less success dating online. Perhaps we’re not all interested in getting cozy with goofy, old, odd, or white men, which is what I say (in so many words) when someone asks me have I tried online dating. I’m honestly shocked this is one industry that appears to not have dove head first into the gotta find a black woman a man industry, which I’m thankful for. However, they could throw a sista a bone and put something out there that might actually make someone log on to http://www.whateveritmaybe.com and give this a try because what I’m seeing so far is not enticing at all, to say the least

Have online dating ads turned you off to finding a man online or have you had success with some sites?


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Brande Victorian is the news and operations editor for madamenoire.com. Follow her on twitter @Be_Vic.

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