Marketing specialist Mark Rofe bought a space on a billboard, not to advertise a brand, but rather to advertise himself to all the single ladies passing through Fairfield Street in Manchester (yes, this is what the world has truly come to).
Long gone are the good old days when one used to ‘court’ their fair counterpart by sending love notes and anonymous flowers.
Oh no – in today’s superficial and digitally crazed world it’s all about the appearance.
What better way to emphasise this than by inflating an attention-grabbing photo of yourself and planting it on a billboard for the world to see?
The Big Idea
The billboard hosts a picture of Mark lounging on one side, pointing passers-by to his very own website, where he describes himself as “an extremely handsome and modest 30-year-old living in Sheffield”.
In the “Facts and Stats” section he notes that he’s kissed more than three girls and has a total of two friends (who probably egged him on to do this over a pint, let’s face it).
To date he’s had over 2,000 applications, but my questions are, will this work? Or is it merely an amplified version of the standard dating app? In other words, your Tinder and Bumble profile pic blown up by 500%.
Will it actually deliver?
I’m not completely sure if this very much in-your-face rendition of “Take Me Out” has a time limit, but if you do fancy a date with Mark - then you better put a “bid” in"!
What They Did
Mark isn’t the first to do this.
In July 2019, US data scientist Braden Sharp also bought a billboard and planted his face on it in an attempt to find love, with a caption that read, “If the millionaire doesn’t work out, here’s your chance to settle for much, much less”.
Although his website domain no longer exists, to my knowledge Braden is still searching for love (I’ve seen no evidence to the contrary).
And it only gets better – Braden himself drew inspiration from an even earlier attempt by an anonymous billionaire in Utah, so desperate to find a wife that he lined the state’s highways with billboards advertising a bachelor-style matchmaking event.
Now, our guy Mark’s billboard mimics the above concept down to a T, but without adding any additional creativity to it. If anything, it’s a stripped-back version of his two predecessors.
There’s no hint of the before or after, just Mark – but maybe that’s the whole point?
Considering it took me a total of five seconds to find previous examples, I’d say the lack of originality is real.
Not to mention its underlying purpose isn’t quite clear – what is his aim? Yes, I know it’s written on the board, but really, what is it?
Is it a cry for attention, or is it truly to find a single lady to call his own? Yes, he’s asking for a date, but does he want to find true love?
There’s no emotion tying the story to his personal life – it feels a bit like seeing a product advertised on your local bus stop windowpane.
Not so much “in hindsight”, seeing as this is currently an ongoing thing. There’s nothing wrong with a bit of humour, and getting the public involved is always a good thing in my experience.
Getting national coverage (which he has) is all fine and dandy, but where’s the depth and original thinking behind it? Where’s the soppy backstory that will set you apart from the pack?
When it comes to a Creative Moment score against this campaign, I’d say it’s no more than a two out of five, and that’s mainly down to the witty website copy that made me giggle over my morning coffee.
The concept is ok, but the execution is poor and just feels ‘flat’.