Affairs can start anywhere: in the office, gym, park, bar etc. The flirting would usually start with the subtle eye contact, innocent touches and intimate conversations. People had to summon some courage to approach the person they were interested in. When online dating started to boom in the early 2000’s, it made finding dates easier. Today, there are thousands of online dating sites that are available in the Internet. Just about anything is available for a certain market of users. One such niche is married dating websites or affair websites.
Married dating websites or affair websites are the dating niches that cater to people who are married seeking discreet affairs with someone else. There are many dating married websites out there. You have to take some time to read married dating reviews so you will know which ones are legitimate.
Ashleymadison.com is one of the first and most popular affair dating sites. It has been around for almost 10 years and serving millions of users from all over 25 countries. Majority of Ashley Madison’s users is from the US, Canada, Europe and Australia. Most dating websites have difficulty lifting off and becoming a success. Ashley Madison’s survival is actually quite a feat for having survived that long in the online dating industry.
Ashley Madison started back in 2001, founded by CEO Noel Biderman. The website’s name comes from two popular ladies’ names. Ashley Madison’s slogan, “Life is short. Have an affair” suggests that people take advantage of their lifetime and put “having an affair” as part of a his/ her experience. In alexa.org’s analytics of website traffic, Ashley Madison garners over 1, 800, 000 new visitors each month.
Unlike other married dating website where users pay for a monthly subscription, Ashley Madison’s users must buy credits to make actions on the website. The credits enabled the users to send messages and chat with other users. Further correspondence between two people will be free after the initial credit is paid.
There are mixed married dating reviews about Ashley Madison. One married dating review stated that the site actually helped him meet the genuine ladies who were lonely and needed to be appreciated. Other married dating reviews, however, stated that Ashley Madison is a scam and is littered with fake accounts to fool people in buying credits. There are many other sites that have mixed reviews. For example – just check the discreet adventures review, you can easily conclude from this in-depth review whether the discreetadventures.com is a scam or not.
Ashley Madison’s Beginnings
Back when it was launched, Ashley Madison was harshly criticized. The criticism primarily revolved around the website endorsing infidelity. One such criticism was from Trish McDermott, match.com’s consultant. According to McDermott, Ashley Madison was a “business built on the back of broken hearts, ruined marriages and damaged families”.
Meeting Marketing and Advertising Challenges
What Ashley Madison is trying to sell is indeed controversial. Almost all people frown upon the idea of infidelity and affairs. Because of this, agencies try to avoid Ashley Madison as if it were some sort of plague. Back in 2009, the NBC channel refused to air a commercial from Ashley Madison during the Super Bowl XLIII. Biderman found this ridiculous because during the Superbowl advertisements for alcoholic beverages were aired even when alcohol consumption was one of the leading causes of death. The people who watch the Superbowl were part of the target market of Ashley Madison. Since then, Biderman has been determined to let their target demographic be aware of their existence.
Back in December 2009, Ashley Madison was willing to shell out $200, 000 to advertise on the Toronto Transit Commission streetcars. They did not succeed with the plan after 5 out of 6 members of the committee rejected it. In a final attempt Biderman offered to subsidize ticket prices to 25 cents.
Another ambitious advertising plan by Ashley Madison was to offer $10 million to rename the Sky Harbor Airport to Ashley Madison International Airport in Phoenix, Arizona. Despite the amount of money that could help the city, Phoenix declined an Ashley Madison’s offer.
Ashley Madison has a penchant of risking millions of money for advertisement. In October 2011, Ashley Madison offered a deal with Italian basketball club Virtus Roma. The deal was that Ashley Madison would offer a jersey sponsorship to Virtus Roma worth 1.5 million euros. Msgr. Flavio Capucci criticized the deal, saying that it was a “betrayal of the value and identity of the sport”.
Getting Hands- on With Marketing
Since Ashley Madison was having a hard time getting their names out there, they had to take the marketing matter in their own hands. The people behind Ashley Madison sit down and craft every ad, campaign and commercial. This proved to be a good thing: they were more aware of how their customers behaved. Thus, they did not need to outsource for their advertising.
Ashley Madison’s Mission
In an interview by Jeff Haden with Noel Biderman in an article for INC.com, the latter said Ashley Madison was providing a venue for people to find an affair. Users may need not worry about being scandalous. In Ashley Madison, they are not alone. Biderman also noted that affair that start in the workplace or in a circle of friends does not always work out. The traditional ways that people make in starting an affair is not any more effective today. Ashley Madison provide a venue where users will be confident in the confines and confidentiality of the website.
The site is now easier to access if you plan to start an affair. You do not have to immediately meet up with the person. You can spend some time getting to know about him/ her through online correspondence like emails and chats.
Biderman also contends that Ashley Madison is only a “medium” that people can use in starting an affair. Extramarital affairs have been around since time immemorial. Many great people had affairs throughout history, including John F. Kennedy and George Bush. People still had the choice if they will subscribe to Ashley Madison. The website only provides a venue for those who want to escape from their relationship.
Ashley Madison’s Target
Many people would think that married dating websites such as Ashley Madison are targeted to male users. Surprisingly the people behind the website are aimed at women. There has been an increase of women initiating extramarital affairs and Ashley Madison wants to take advantage of that. Biderman noted that more women were independent and had control of their lives. Women had “more jobs, were more financially independent, traveled more, and interacted with a lot of people”. Biderman knew that if he attracted the ladies to his website, the men will follow.
An online dating site cannot survive without any people signing up. Biderman was able to pinpoint an effective way to lure people, especially the men, in clicking the sign up button.
Ashley Madison’s Advertising Today
Ashley Madison has used a number of political and popular figures for their advertising. Queen Sophia, wife of King Juan Carlos of Spain, demanded a public apology from Ashley Madison for using her image in one of its advertising campaigns. The particular advertisement showed a photoshopped image of the queen draped around a younger man with the words “you no longer have to spend the night alone” in Spanish. Ashley Madison did not secure any permission when it used the queen’s image. The queen said that the image “damaged her honor and integrity”.
Ashley Madison has been known to ride on the affairs of public figures and use them for their marketing strategy. Some of these public figures include South Carolinian governor Mark Sanford and French presidents François Mitterand, Jacques Chirac, Nicolas Sarkozy and François Hollande.
As the saying goes “good publicity or bad publicity, it’s still publicity”. Affairs are generally bad, controversial and scandalous. Maybe that’s a reason why Ashley Madison continues to thrive in the online dating world. Despite the infamous image of infidelity, Ashley Madison provides a place for users to commit affairs in secret.