Zoosk: Online dating, your way

Category: Internet/Telecom
Brand/Client: Zoosk
Lead Agency: Ogilvy & Mather
Contributing Agencies: OgilvyOne Worldwide, Off the Leash Insights

Strategic Challenge

What the heck's a Zoosk?

Zoosk, a privately held online dating company, was launched in 2007 in an already crowded playing field dominated by two giants: match.com and eHarmony. Despite three years in business and over $30 million in VC funding dedicated to marketing efforts1, the vast majority of singles in the U.S. had never even heard of Zoosk2 – a fact that was in conflict with the Co-CEO/entrepreneurs' stated desire to become a category leader.

The chicken and the egg

Zoosk needed to attract additional investor funding, but to accomplish this, they had to gain brand awareness. By April 2010, Zoosk had only achieved 15% total competitive brand awareness, not even good enough for a position on the top 10 list. Out of 15 online dating sites, Zoosk sat mired in 13th place. eHarmony and match.com were the market leaders, each with over 90% awareness. To survive, Zoosk needed their numbers to go up. Way up.