That advert

Seen it?

It is a lovely ad.  Couple meet on a railway platform and seemingly fall in love.   There are a whole series of them on’s YouTube site.   All around the same theme, accidently falling in love.   One in a shoe shop, one whilst playing at pianos, or at a bus stop.

Ah how lovely.  How romantic.

So why in God’s name then is the advertising theme for an internet dating site?

A site where you have to actively sign up / pay a fee / pimp yourself out / filter out unsuitable people such as the married men who assure you they are separated but then turn up to the date with a Mr Bump plaster on their finger (yes that happened to me, he got short shrift I can assure you) / and finally go out on a series of unsuccessful dates before giving up and cancelling your membership.   Then walking into a pub and meeting the man you go on to marry (that happened to me.  Twice.  Ahem, I am digressing)

Their own advert tells you that you are going to meet the person of your dreams in a shoe shop / bus stop / train station / bar.  Not necessarily on the internet.

I remember once saying to my dad towards the end of an advert “I love that advert” and he said “but what did it advertise?”.   I couldn’t remember “in which case the advert is useless” he remarked.   And some 25 years later that statement has stuck with me.

If an advert doesn’t leave you remembering what it was advertising then it has failed.

Remember this?

Now that did exactly what it need to.  Two characters, on the phone.  Celebrating exam success.   It is 30 years old now but that to me is a great ad.   You ask anybody about Maureen Lipman and “you got an ology” and most people over 45 will tell you it was for BT.

Don’t get me started on Meerkats.   The very idea that they actually set up Compare the Meerkat has to be one of the biggest strokes of advertising genius ever.

Or this one?

I don’t know how it advertises Cadbury’s chocolate but you just know it does.

So I am really sorry but your advert is rubbish.  It doesn’t advertise your services at all, it does the exact opposite.

Ronseal coined the phrase  “It does exactly what it says on the tin” which is still used today.   Shame the same cannot be said for



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  • I guess the success of the advert is exactly that – what puts people off online dating is the idea of a contrived situation, pimping yourself out etc – so what they’ve dine is brazenly the opposite. They are trying to appeal to people who long for that romantic ideal but haven’t found it, and I suppose it ‘works’ (which to sone degree presumably it must as they are prolifically successful) because it associates this romance with the site. The last thing their customers, particularly those who have done online dating before, want is to be reminded of the unpleasant reality of the whole thing.

    That said, they are horribly saccharine adverts.

  • dont go making everyone that old that remembers the BT advert. I’m not 40 and I remember it. the Ology and ‘well everyone will always need plates’ still make me laugh now.