Chemistry.com’s Big Gay Blunder

Recently, Chemistry.com ran the following commercial, on various cable networks. I’ve seen it on Discovery, BBC America, History Channel, and Food Network.

Now, color me surprised when this ad got pulled fairly quickly.

Do women generally like this sort of thing? Yes. Go check the comments at the Youtube site, see for yourself. I’m sure it’s “cool” with the trendy set as well.

Do men who are likely to want to use Chemistry.com like this sort of thing? No. They’ll hate it. Desperate, lonely guys wanting a girlfriend get … gays on the screen?

Chemistry.com just killed their brand. Since men make up the paying customers. Women don’t need and don’t form the majority of the customers of dating sites.

Dating sites generally fail, because it’s like that “nude beach scene” in “Eurotrip.” A total “sausage fest.” Far too many men, not very many women. Men can need dating sites, it’s hard for some to meet women, particularly those shy, without much of a social network, and new in town. Women don’t need dating sites and therefore mostly don’t use them, except occasionally as either an ego booster, or more often as a screening device (and that only for income, really).

This stands as another monument to the lack of competence in the creative class. It should be a simple task: sell lonely, desperate guys that Chemistry.com will solve their romance problem. Instead, the ad agency made a “statement” which no doubt made all their ad buddies proud and boosted their own status in the ad business.

But now, for every guy who saw that ad, Chemistry.com is not for them. It’s for gay men. Not straight guys looking for a date. Made worse of course by the choice of the actors, who resemble the target market of cube dwellers too much.

More evidence of lack of simple competence among the creative class. Even simple things can’t get done right, because no one has a clue about the social realities beyond the terminally trendy.

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About whiskeysplace

Conservative blogger focusing on culture, business, technology, and how they intersect.
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4 Responses to Chemistry.com’s Big Gay Blunder

  1. Wow. I was assuming that they would at least mitigate the homosexual component by making it something humorous – for instance, the old “straight guy accidentally woos gay man” routine. Apparently not.The sheer divorce from reality is fascinating – what with the whole “10% gay” population statistic being a fraud. I suppose advertisers’ cluelessness is in fact due to the arrogance whereby they project their own sexual preferences and values on the population at large. However, it’s probably also due to their missionary zeal (we’ve got to strike a blow against those Red State rubes). Whatever the reason, I bet they aren’t even bothered by the loss in profits. Producing the “right” kind of commercial is satisfaction enough.

  2. PA says:

    It plausibly could have been a sausage-proofing of their dating site. As I understand it, most dating sites are sausage fests.Not that I endorse the decision to gay-it-up, but maybe the between-the-lines message to prospective clients is that this is a “nonthreatning” environment for women, who should flock there because of the “upscale” men they’ll meet.

  3. Whiskey says:

    9-of-diamonds, the action is puzzling because, if you believe either/both Adweek.com and the Wall Street Journal, Ad Agencies are in big trouble. Closing offices, laying off people. Losing profits.Reportedly, the shift to cheap online advertising has caused a huge shakeup in the industry. Loss of profits can mean the difference between an office closed and the creators fired, or keeping their jobs. When Reebok changed agencies, IIRC, the agency that lost the account ended up closing their offices in LA and firing about 300 people. Only missionary zeal, and total bubble environments, would seem to account for that.pa — It might well be unthreatening to women, but if it’s “gay” in perception by men, they won’t use it. The problem with this ad is that it ran not on Bravo or the other gay cable channel, where no straight guy would see it, but other cable channels where they would.Women are not the ones driving profitability of the dating sites, if you believe Half Sigma and others writing about them (Wall Street Journal also has covered this and said the same). It’s the lonely, desperate guys. Match.com has a better angle, they have hunky, “Luke Wilson” jawed type guys, who are masculine and big, but not “pretty” by any stretch, paired up with attractive but not unrealistic “actress” type beauties.Thanks for stopping by guys.

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