“Find someone who wasn’t on your Birthright trip,” reads a cheeky billboard you’ll likely see if you visit Times Square in the coming days. JDate is rolling out a brand new advertising campaign just in time for Valentine’s Day, the New York Times reports, and the Jewish dating site is stepping up its game with attention-getting ads that seek to show you they’re in on the joke.
The ads, which will be online, in print, and splashed across a digital billboard in Times Square, feature lines like “More Jews than a Chinese restaurant on Christmas,” “Find someone who still loves to talk about sleepaway camp,” and “Find someone who shares your love for gefilte fish,” each bearing the site’s new tagline, “Get chosen.” The campaign seems to be taking a page from Manhattan Mini Storage, a company which opts for sassy, often political statements to sell decidedly unsexy storage units.
But these ads, an attempt to show off JDate’s hipper side and appeal to young potential members, are bound to rub people the wrong way. “Shiksappeal is overrated,” says one, with a stock image of an attractive blonde young woman (I’m assuming; we don’t see her face) clad in a tank top. That might be the point, though. As Greg Liberman, chief executive of Spark Networks, the company which owns JDate, told the Times, the new campaign “is more about emphasizing the ‘J’ in JDate and about reinforcing what we’re here for — we’re here to build the Jewish community.”
Moral imperative aside, the site’s new ads might prove to be a bit too in-your-face for some.
Stephanie Butnick is deputy editor of Tablet Magazine and a host of the Unorthodox podcast.