14 March 2007

Win a Date with Some Weird Dude!

This ad (or one like it... there's also a dude with a knit hat and a dude with a lot of tattoos... covering their demographic bases, I guess) has been popping up a lot on my MySpace logout page lately.

Uh... Boyfriend season? I'm aware of the whole "springtime-is-coming-so-make-with-the-flirty
-like-in-Bambi" business, but for some reason I'm getting some funny images in my head regarding the season for those elusive boyfriends.

Firstly, I am from New Hampshire, so when I see "___ Season" my line of thinking turns toward weather and/or hunting. In this way, boyfriend season comes before/during Mud Season and dissipates by the end of Black Fly season? Or is it still boyfriend season during Mosquito Season? I mean, they obviously hibernate during the winter, so that's out...

Then there's the idea that it's boyfriend season, as in you can hunt them with perhaps a bow and arrow (oh, how classical!) or high-powered rifle. In which case, how does one stalk the creature? On horseback, riding behind a pack of baying foxhounds? Do you set up in his house under a pile of clothes/boyfriend detritus and wait for him to show up and lick up the salt (or, you know, beer...Fritos, what-have-you) you spread on the floor?

The thing that really creeps me out, though, is how similar it seems to the dreaded "Bathing Suit Season." And, knowing MySpace, it seemed just as likely (before I saw the True logo) to be advertising some manner of diet pill. "Get those winter pounds off, ladies! Boyfriend season is around the corner."

Either way, the Match.com and True.com full-frontal MySpace assault is weirding me out. Match has these bizarre little videos of "regular guys" receiving titillating messages from "regular girls (or so we would assume)." One of these guys appears to be 12. The other, reads a message whilst removing a button-down shirt and stroking his five o'clock shadow (don't worry, there's a t-shirt underneath). Both smile creepily, and the camera angle makes it seem like they're looking right at me. I find I am neither intrigued nor titillated by this (this spoof video, however, is hilarious) so much as uncomfortable and a little intruded upon.

I certainly don't frown upon online dating (whatever works...or provides the best emotional scars/stories to tell your friends at the bar), but I thought MySpace already had that function built in...for free...so why would I be inclined to pay someone to hook me up with the likes of Lil' Fella and Scruffy the Date Rapist?

The final thought on the matter is that I'm obviously in a demographic that gets thrown these ads (due to being young and a lady). I am therefore curious what other information MySpace uses to place the ads. My "single" status" Do my "interests" indicate that I would be more likely to click on Scruffy the Date Rapist's little home video?

I hope that it's not that sophisticated a system... but at some point it could be, and isn't that fun? So, I turn it over to you, bloggy folk. Do those of you "In a Relationship" end up with these disturbing videos? Are you free of the "boyfriend season" blight? And guys - what do the ladies look like?

Meanwhile, I've heard it's time to dust off that high-powered rifle and/or start popping dexatrim and running in place late at night. Boyfriend Season's just around the freakin' corner.


Joshua said...

Those ads are indeed upsetting. I wrote about how weird I found the male-marketed ones on Friendster a while back, though in Friendster's case, the ads definitely didn't discriminate. They got to weird everyone out!


as for the sophisticated spying on you technology, Myspace is owned by Mr. Newscorp Murdoch himself, so I wouldn't put it past them.

Flushy McBucketpants said...

i would imagine the code for this kind of targeted advertising would be fairly easy. i'm no computer science nerd (though, sometimes i wish i were), but it seems like a simple if/then statement (or maybe if/then/or? does a statement like that exist?). if profile shows single & female then show ad x or if profile shows single & male then display ad y. it's not really spying if you voluntarily gave them that information in your profile. as long as they aren't giving that information up to the advertiser, then i would guess that it's legal given the terms and conditions you agree to when you sign up.

Bridget said...

i like your classical reference to cupid. i however dont bat my lashes at cupid in arcadia. i prefer to cut off one breast, pull out my bow and arrow, and go a' huntin. its post '68, i'm liberated.

Margaret said...

Funny. I searched "boyfriend season" on google because I couldn't figure out what they were talking about in those MySpace ads and found this. I guess no one really knows what "boyfriend season" is! I thought an ad needed to make sense to sway an audience?? Crazy marketers don't know what they're doing...