If, by chance, you were in Paris last week, you may have seen a frenzy of activity on Rue de La Bonheur as a new, traveling pop-up shop for AdopteUnMec.com, which translates to AdoptAGuy.com, opened its doors in the city’s chic, fashion district. The pop-up, which will be open for 10 days before it moves on to Brussels, Lausanne, Toulouse and Lyon, brings the popular French, online dating site to life as real men are displayed in life-size, toy boxes like living, breathing Ken dolls for women to ogle and browse. Oh, mon dieu!
While the pop-up’s boxed men, whose labels sport names like “Mr. Muscle” and “The Rocker”, are actually hired models for display purposes only, they are intended to represent the different types of real, eligible bachelors the women who register with the dating site can expect to meet online. Nothing like a little over-the-top PR stunt to drive global brand awareness and traffic to your site.
But this publicity generating pop-up tour is just an added boost to the site’s already impressive popularity, which has been growing since its 2010 launch. Reportedly, AdopteUnMec.com ranks among the top 100 French websites and is the French industry leader in Web traffic with more than 300 million page views a month.
The company’s spin as to why AdoptAGuy.com is different than other online dating sites… they are the only one “where women are in full control of the courting process, making shopping for men as easy as shopping for shoes.” Truthfully, there is not one part of that selling point that doesn’t make us cringe.
Nonetheless, curiosity got the best of us, so we dug a little deeper to find out just how it works: “Inside AdoptAGuy.com’s supermarket of love, a woman shops for ‘products’ at her leisure. When she’s ready to commit, she places as many products as she likes in her ‘cart’, opening the lines of communication. Until then, men sit on the shelf, competing for attention and waiting to get noticed.” In other words, the women a.k.a “shoppers” are the only ones who can initiate communication and then the guys a.k.a “products” have to sell themselves through their online profiles.
Click to enter buttons on the AdoptAGuy.com site
Ok… while we get their whole woman in control of her own dating destiny platform, which is weak schtick at best, and see their attempt to bring humor and playfulness to the online dating experience, we’re just not into this concept for SO MANY different reasons. Barring the obvious insulting aspects (to both genders) and cheesiness of it all, imagine if the Shopper and Product were reversed making the Shoppers men and the Products women. People, including us WYSKers, would go BANANAS! We’re certainly not about to feed into the double standard and say it’s cute and clever this way, but would be horribly offensive in the reverse. Bottom line: human beings are not commodities to be added to online shopping carts.
While we’re not sure what the exact deal is with the U.S. version of the site – AdoptAGuy.com – as we weren’t about to register to try to find out, it seems to exist, but cross links with a UK version – BagABloke.com. The company’s CEO and co-founder, Sebastien Sikorski, had this little gem of wisdom to share with the world when the U.S. site apparently launched, “Everyone views the French as masters of love. Our hope is that by bringing the French ways of love, seduction and dating to America, AdoptAGuy.com will be France’s greatest gift to America since the Statue of Liberty.”