New Media: Yahoo! dating pinpoints 'National Break-up Day'

With approximately 1,000 online dating agencies in the UK, many of which boast sponsorship deals and hefty advertising budgets, Yahoo! Personals was struggling to get noticed.

Campaign National Break-up Day
Client Yahoo! UK and Ireland
PR team Cohn & Wolfe
Timescale Dec 2005-Jan 2006
Budget £12,500

Yahoo! appointed Cohn & Wolfe to build brand awareness and attract a bigger share of the six million Britons who use online dating services.

To drive singles to the Yahoo! Personals site via national, regional and broadcast coverage. To position the online service as an accepted, fun and safe way for sophisticated single men and women to meet like-minded potential partners.

Strategy and Plan
Rather than target the traditional women's or men's press with romance stories, C&W felt that a bigger splash could be created with a story that was time-sensitive and relevant to the current news agenda.

To this end, the agency worked with research company Skopos to identify attitudes to relationships and ‘the day they are most likely to end'. It discovered that 12 January was the most likely day for couples to split, and named it National Break-up Day.

Further results, showing how attitudes differed according to gender and region, were issued to the media. This included the fact that women tend to have a New Year rethink about their other half, with many subsequently ditching partners. Meanwhile, it was revealed that a third of men blame Christmas rows with the in-laws on January break-ups. To add editorial endorsement to the campaign, the PR team enlisted relationship expert Jenni Trent-Hughes, who conducted radio interviews with Yahoo! Personals general manager Deborah Uri.

Measurement and Evaluation
The campaign generated 32 items of branded coverage in a three-day period across broadcast, online and print media. Highlights included articles in The Times, The Sun, the Daily Star and London's Metro.

Regional press interest came from The Scotsman and the Evening Standard. Meanwhile, Yahoo! Personals was featured in a discussion on ITV's GMTV programme.

Yahoo! UK and Ireland is unable to disclose how the campaign affected registration numbers or visitors to its Personals site. However, the project is being appropriated by Yahoo! Personals in the US. Hazel Thompson, head of UK PR at Yahoo! UK and Ireland, says the campaign was ‘a huge success for us'.

Paul Malley, who covered the story for the Daily Star, adds: ‘It was a good idea and everything was there to back the findings up, which meant the story became a fun item for us to run.'

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Already registered?
Sign in