Working in PR throws up some interesting facts. One is that Malaysia is officially where retailing, social media and online lonely-hearts meet.
The New York Daily News reports that Kuala Lumpur retailer “Shoes Shoes Shoes” is offering customers a free date with every footwear purchase.
Women who buy a pair of shoes and leave their details are matched with potential partners by an online dating site. These men are selected from the agency’s database after nominating a pair of shoes that they like.
From there, it’s like an episode of Perfect Match, Malaysia-style, as the store’s Facebook site explains:
“Buy a pair of shoes from a gorgeous selection in the store and dating consultants will pair you with an eligible bachelor who likes the same shoe design as you and arrange for the two of you to meet. The end? Of course not. To prove that chivalry is still very much alive, a gift in the form of a shoe discount voucher awaits you on your first date, courtesy of Prince Charming. Sounds like a fairy tale? Well, who says life can't be one for real. So get to it girl! Let the shoes decide your destiny.”
At least there’ll be an icebreaker if both dating parties turn up in Prada pink and purple sling-backs.
Facebook comments have ranged from “brilliant” to “supremely creepy.” The media coverage is going gang-busters with 60-plus online news articles and counting.
Apart from consenting podiatrists engaging in mutual foot massages, does taste in shoes really make for compatibility? If there’s probably a scientific study that says so, you can bet the evidence will be as credible as last week’s horoscope.
Leaving aside puns about these shoe-focussed couples being toey or turning out to be heels, the reality is that shifts in match-making are as seismic as those in media. For example, a 2009 study found that nine percent of married Australian couples met online.
While the date-and-dine thing looks more a quick grab for publicity than a way to put couples on the path to life-partner bliss, if the boot was on the other foot and you wanted to make a mark in retail, you might wish you’d thought of it first.
Photo credit: http://www.nextnature.net/2008/12/high-heels/