Girls grow up with two obsessions: finding Prince Charming and shoes. The Shoe Dating promotion for Malaysian independent label Shoes Shoes Shoes managed to combine the two pursuits in one single shopping outing.

Buy a pair of shoes, get a man for free

Basically every one of the 20 promoted designs came with a free date and possibly a juicy discount. The men behing the shoes were all elegible bachelors from Asia’s premier lunch dating company Lunch Actually. They were invited to participate by choosing the shoes they imagined their future date would wear (from an online catalog) and pledging from a discount. The more they pledged, the more chances to be picked up first.

Matchmaking by shoes! No need to post enhanced portrait shots or lie about your age. The promo effectively took retail therapy to new heights by turning a store visit into a simplified and fun form of online dating, something that the busy shop patrons valued highly.

And when the lunch took place, instead of flowers, the man would give her date a voucher with the discount he pledged for, to be used in her next shoe purchase (hence prompting a new visit).

Shoe Dating was promoted via Facebook and with a very unusual store display that stop passersby on their tracks and encouraged people to reach the first floor where the shop is located to have a closer look.

Malaysia’s ‘women-only’ radio Capital FM also played a part by lending their DJs, who not only participated in the promotion but also run some of the dates live at the radio.

Apart from increased footfall and sales uplift, the campaign created by OgilvyAction Malaysia caught worldwide attention and was featured in trend-spotting sites, fashion blogs and the big media.

A dream come true for a small independent designer with regional expansion ambitions and for their customers who found the dating game a little less daunting and little more fun.

I wonder if Shoe Dating would stick as a stand-alone service in the future. Any takers?

Regional Executive Creative Director, Geometry Global Asia Pacific