This week I’ve been binge watching Scandal because I’m super behind. You know, the show where everyone is either getting shot and bleeding out in a car trunk, or otherwise they’re having sex with the President. Or maybe both. Simultaneously.
Anyway, the reason this is relevant is because when I’m behind on a TV show, I watch it On Demand. And when you watch a show On Demand, chances are you’ll see the same commercial over and over and over again. (I feel like this blog post is turning into one of those commercials where the final message is “don’t eat fried chicken out of a garbage bin! Switch to Geico!”) I wound up in just such a predicament — watching the same commercial for one online dating site over and over and over again. At first, it didn’t bother me, but remember: I’m on a Scandal watching binge, meaning as I write this, I’m four episodes deep and things are starting to get weird. Pretty soon, I can probably expect Russian/Iraqi/Canadian spies to come bursting in and kidnap me to take me to some hole in the floor or something. I don’t know what’s happening anymore. But I do know by now, I’ve seen this online dating commercial a lot.
What you may or may not know about me is I work in communications. I am, in fact, a master of communications. No, wait, I have a Master’s in communications. I keep trying to get people to call me Master Carin, sort of like if I had a Ph.D. they’d call me Doctor, but no luck so far. I digress…
So with all of my awesome communication know-how, I started to really process this commercial… and the more I watched it, the more I realized it is really the anti-commercial. This commercial 100% makes me not want to invest in their dating site. So here it is:
First of all — why would match.com POSSIBLY think their best shot to have a woman talk candidly about her dating experiences is to have a man accost her on the street and ask her deeply personal dating questions? You know what I would think? I would think this guy was a random creep whose excuse to talk to me about dating (and film me) was to say he was making a commercial for an online dating site. ‘Oh, you want me to join match.com? Is it because you’re on match.com?’
And his questions? Genius. Let’s dive in:
#1: “How do you meet men?”
‘Ah, ya know, typically I just wait for strangers to approach me on the street and ask if they can record me talking about how I meet men. How do you meet men?’
#2: “What are you looking for in a man?”
Seriously? How is this not the most uncomfortable interview ever? I believe I speak for EVERY woman who has ever been asked that question when I say the asker is usually some guy whose shirt has one too many buttons undone, whose hair definitely has either a crunchy or slimy property to it (I can never tell which and I’m too nervous to try to touch it), and who leans a liiiiiiiittle too close with his onion-y tuna fish breath to ask it. ‘What am I looking for in a man, you ask? Well obviously, you’re it! I’m so glad you came over to ask me, or else this wonderful meet-cute never would have happened! What a fabulous story to tell the grandkids.’
And her actual response is three qualities. Three. The interviewer helps us out with this by keeping count on his fingers. To three. His literally counts to three on his fingers while she talks. The fun continues.
#3: “What if there was a place… where you can meet people who meet all the criteria you’re looking for?”
Are you actually asking me about this place? Are you also looking for this place, Mr. Interviewer? But he goes on to ask if such a place would interest her and the poor young lady responds in the affirmative.
And this is where it turns into commercial gold.
Interviewer: “It’s Match.”
Woman: (giggle) “… okay…”
THIS IS SO AWKWARD!!! Why in God’s green earth would match.com pay money to play this (repeatedly) as a commercial!? If I was the producer who was looking at this footage, I would immediately throw it away.
This interview is akin to a guy in a bar saying, “What if I told you I had an entire room in my house devoted to Transformers action figures?” Or saying, “What if I told you I live at home with my elderly mother and she runs a bubble bath for me every evening?” Or saying, “What if I told you I can only poop if my long haired cat is looking directly at me?” Or saying, “What if I told you I voted for George W. Bush… both times?”
My response to every single one of those hypothetical questions would be her exact response in this commercial. “haha.. okay…” This is the female way of saying “Oh shit, get me the hell out of here.”
But since match.com hired this dashing young bloke to conduct this scintillating interview, he just continues onward as if she really, truly, honestly, actually means “okay.” Which she doesn’t. Trust me, I speak woman fluently.
BUT IT DOESN’T END THERE! Thank you, sweet baby Jesus. Thank you for bringing this into my life.
He asks this poor, sweet young woman if, now that she knows these three (yes, THREE. He counted. Using his fingers) qualities she’s looking for in a man can be found on an online dating site, if she wants to sign up. Of course she’ll say yes — that’s literally the point of this commercial. So then he says…
“Let’s go do it. We’re gonna do it right now.”
Can everyone please just look at her face for a minute. It could be sunny, but let’s face it… the reason she’s making that face is because she’s thinking “there is literally no fucking way I’m going to go sign up for your weird site.” And not just her face… it’s her face, followed by an awkward laugh, followed by the fact that the commercial cuts immediately to the blue screen that says “match.” Do you know why? Because she didn’t want to do it. At all. If I made this commercial and this young woman said, “great! Let’s go sign up right now!” I would have totally included that in the commercial. But they didn’t include it, because it didn’t exist. Instead, they ended on pervy interviewer saying the actual words “We’re gonna do it right now.” Seriously.
So, bravo match.com. Not only did you manage to completely weird out a young, single woman on the streets of what I can only assume is Manhattan, but you’ve also presumably paid millions of dollars to weird out women all across the world who are picking up on her weird, creeped out body language.
Now back to Scandal.