“Life is Short – Have An Affair” – Good Advice or Brilliant Marketing?


Ashley Madison.com is an online dating service in the highly competitive market of hooking people up via the internet. Any business seeks a new market for their product and Ashley Madison is no exception to the program. They decided to tap into the virgin territory of extra-marital adventure tours as a potential source of customer growth. Kind of an acknowledgment that “The Pina Colada Song” about an unfaithful couple who meet each other through a dating service hook- up is loosely based upon real human behavior. And they aren’t wrong.

Ashley Madison wanted to put the slogan’ Life is short. Have an affair’ on the side of ten Toronto Transit Commission streetcars to sell infidelity as a $249 three month package with a money-back guarantee that promises “an affair of a lifetime” or a full refund.

Talk about a streetcar named Desire.

Needless to say, Ashley Madison stepped on a few toes with their ad campaign wrapped around an open invitation to step outside of a marriage or relationship and have some extra-curricular activity fun with a money-back guarantee. I’m guessing that business has been brisk since they broke this campaign in the media.

It was a brilliant move on Ashley Madison’s part. They were rejected by Toronto Transit officials who felt that the ads were not a good fit with the basic value system of society vis a vis marriage. The Toronto officials felt that TTC was not in the business of promoting adultery on the side of transit vehicles, while libertarian organizations advanced freedom of choice and speech arguments.

Through all of this debate, one thing was very true: Ashley Madison.com won huge with this one. They did not spend one nickel on the avalanche of free publicity thrown their way by the firestorm of media attention with their tactic.

The genius behind the campaign should get a large bonus for his or her efforts.

They tapped into the hearts and minds of people on both sides of the fence and are now firmly in the public spotlight. Personally I had never heard of Ashley Madison and I’m not a frequent flyer on dating services of any kind. But now I know where to go if I get married (first) and restless (second) in the future. Ashley will welcome me with open arms at the low introductory cost of 249 plus tax- with a money-back guarantee.

What could possibly go wrong with that deal?


Source by Jim Sutherland

Agnes Brown

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