Whist watching the Beautifulpeople.com ‘overweight people are bad for our business’ story unfold, mainly via Twitter, we’ve been debating whether this was a clever PR stunt or a rapidly unfolding crisis management issue.
Having delved deeper (because clearly their previous PR hasn’t been targeting us!), this dating website definitely goes by the ‘all publicity is good publicity’ shock tactics mantra. Since launching they’ve announced that ‘British people are the ugliest in the world’ and have been proud to say that they’ve rejected 1.8 million ugly people in two weeks.
We can understand their logic and it’s clearly done a job: UK visits to their site increased by 50-fold yesterday. However, did it do the right job?
Everyone’s talking about it but could it be counter-productive and actually put people off them for fear of rejection or the type of people that this marketing would attract? Our view is that we wouldn’t sign up, but the odd one or two thought they might give it a go secretly in the knowledge that if they got through the rigorous judging process, they would be guaranteed ‘beautiful people’ on the other side. Whether you agree or not, what’s clear is that it’s created talkability (our super buzzword), a huge burst of traffic and serious brand awareness. Whether you think it’s good or not, ultimately the proof will be in the results – sign up figures.
Ryanair eat your heart out on this one!