A reader from Germany recently told me about a rather unusual ad for an online dating app. Normally, these target men. They show young, attractive women who are more than eager to go on a date with unkempt, unsuccessful, and unattractive men. In reality, of course, dating sites tend to contain a lot of fake female profiles. They also have a large male surplus. In contrast, the ad I was told about showed a buff, attractive guy. He’s sitting on the bed in a luxury apartment. A big dog lies by his feet. On top, three descriptive “tags” are written on the poster. They read:
- has a dog
- would like to have children someday
- exceptionally well paid (in German: “aussertariflich bezahlt”, which means the same but is not quite as blunt)
The ad was from Bumble. Unfortunately, I did not get a picture of the poster. I also could not find an online ad that replicated the real-world campaign. Who would have thought that it is difficult to search for ads online, given that the Internet is full of them?
The contrast between online dating ads for men and that one could not be more obvious. Men want attractive women and women want a rich, attractive man who is fully on board with her unwillingness to have children. I have a hunch that such men are hard to find. Yet, apparently, women respond to such ads. In fact, Bumble claims to have the highest percentage of female users of all dating apps. They also claim that theirs is a “feminist dating app”. We should be grateful that they are around and also that they run such honest apps. There are still men who mock the “looks, status, money” camp and the “black pill” community, which is an offshoot of that line of thought.
There may be a cultural shift at work even because it was not too long ago that women told you that they want a man with a “good sense of humor”. In contrast, the Bumble ad is downright crass. I bet that a lot of men view it as incredibly off-putting. I can’t imagine droves of men signing up for Bumble as a consequence. Keep in mind that the equivalent of an ad targeting men would show a super-attractive 20-year-old woman with the tagline: “large dowry, virgin, wants to treat you like a king”. There are not a lot of those women around either. Yet, it would probably be deemed “sexist” to run such an ad.
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