We’ve just been sent a link to a TV show in the UK called the Apprentice where young entrepreneurs battle against each other in a do or die battle of marketing and advertising skills. This week the would be business leaders were given a brief to create free dating websites. They had just two days to make a film, an ad campaign and a website for their new online dating brand. Now considering that free dating websites are big business these days (estimates report the global market to be almost $2bn) they should have had at least some insight into the industry already. What followed in 60 minutes of TV gold was a hilarious example of how not to build free dating websites.
The first group created an over-50s dating site. Now bear in mind that none of them were above 25 this seemed an odd demographic to choose. They knew virtually nothing about the target audience other than what a few old crones in a local pub told them. So off they trotted, got their crayons out and built the old people exactly what they wanted. A cheesy flowers and romance website for the over-80s rather than the spritely modern 50-year-old … total disaster!
The second group at least hit the right target audience for their free dating website with a 20-something take on professional connections. Their strap-line was something like ‘when you’re too busy to find love’ and ‘stop dating Mr Wrongs’. All fairly cliched stuff, unoriginal and not very inspiring but at least they were trying to do what all of us free dating websites are trying to do most of the time. Essentially we’re trying to give you lots of choice. We’re also trying to make it easy for you to date online whilst on the move through our mobile site (this saves you time) and we’re trying to educate you so you don’t end up precious time meeting the wrong sorts of people. How we and all the other free dating websites is down to individual creativity but one things for sure, we won’t be looking to any of the apprentice candidates for inspiration.