Market Yourself Date-Worthy

Planit Agency
February 22, 2010

So I got the idea for this post from the recent Baltimore Magazine article, "Don't I Know You,” in which the reporter examines the ups and downs of dating in Smalltimore, yet in a more realistic manner than the “He’s Just Not That Into You” movie.  While reading the article, I thought he was speaking directly to me. I’ve lived in Federal Hill for four years now, and as a twenty-something, let’s just say that I’ve seen my fair share of what Smalltimore has to offer—whether it’s seeing it for yourself at the bars, or Facebook stalking photos and realizing that Mr. McDreamy himself has already dated twelve of your fair-weather girlfriends. I agree Mike Storck; it is a bit like one big “Chinese fire drill.” Instead of going into the nitty gritty details of my dating experiences (I could have my very own blog for that—beginning with the nicknames I have for almost every guy I’ve dated since college), I decided to connect it to what I know: marketing paired with young fun ladies trying to date in Smalltimore and beyond. How can you create a so-called “brand” for yourself that rises above the clutter of the twenty-somethings flocking the scene? Well here are my two cents…

Be the funny girl

Think Tina Fey. This actress and producer has created a brand for herself that goes beyond just “funny” —she’s smart, successful and witty. American Express highlights this in an ad from last year. Also consider Budweiser’s Superbowl ads—they make you laugh, they’re catchy (whazzzupp), and they hold the attention of guys almost more than a fresh, warm Chipotle burrito. To be the funny girl is not as easy as it seems. You can be silly after a few beers, but to be legitimately funny all night, or at least through a two-beverage conversation, takes skill and smarts. Just giggling at whatever McDreamy says, and him laughing at your giggle, does not count. I’m talking skillfully funny—where you are connected with current events, subjects of interest to him, and the community, enough so that you have your own opinion on these, and can spin it into an engaging, funny conversation. Guys love this—maybe they won’t all admit it at first, but you will hold the conversation longer than a “pretty giggler,” and he will leave that bar thinking, “Wow, she was funny and I’d like to hang out with her again.”

The “drop dead gorgeous” girl

Picture the models in almost any Victoria’s Secret ad, or any serious fragrance ad. The example that comes to my mind is Charlize Theron in the J’adore Dior ad strutting down a hallway like she is by far the most gorgeous thing on earth.  Minus the stripping part, this is what I’m talking about. Now this one is a little harder to come by, unless you are either naturally blessed by the “god of good looks” or you have thousands of dollars to get to a surgeon who can “assist you” in the looks department. Either way, if you are fortunate enough to be this girl, you better WORK IT. I don’t mean by dressing and/or acting “easy” in any manner. Let down your hair; wear a nice, stylish (and maybe slightly provocative) outfit with heels; and walk in like you KNOW you’re hot. Guys will take notice, and hey, the music may even stop blasting while you make your entrance. Even the funny girl will lose her pedestal for a moment. All eyes are on you—flash a few smiles at some droolers, work your way to the bar, and buy yourself a drink. The rest will come to you. From here on out, just ooze confidence, and flick your hair a few times.

The “I don’t care what anyone says, I want the attention” girl

This reminds me of the brand that Cameron Diaz has seemingly built for herself. She’s portrayed in the media as the fun, entertaining, outgoing, attention-grabbing Hollywood actress. From her early role in “The Mask,” to a lead role in “The Sweetest Thing” (a movie that most of you probably haven’t heard of but she is the loud party girl), she is always the center of attention and having a blast…you get the gist. If not, check out this montage. Be careful with this one; more often than not you will get on the nerves of almost every other girl in the bar. To be this girl, you don’t have to be Ms. Sports Illustrated cover model—you just have to be a bit loud, laugh a lot, wear a cute yet quasi-comfortable and bright-colored outfit (OK maybe not but that’s how I picture you), and act like you are having a great time—no matter what. Guys will want to know what you are about. They will think, “Whoa, she is having a great time. I want to learn more about this chick, and I want to join in the fun too.” The downside with this is you typically will attract a ton of guy friends as well, and let’s face it, this gets you nothing but a circle of armor for the night that almost no McDreamy would dare fight. Go on and be this attention-grabbing girl with a handful of fun girlfriends, and best of luck to you. Maybe bring some glow-in-the-dark straws with you for added effect.

The mysterious girl

The mysterious girl is like the Mona Lisa effect (is she smiling or is she reserved?) or like the lyrics to the Johnny Mathis song "A Certain Smile." Similarly, brands occasionally will run a TV ad and say nothing about the actual brand itself until the very end of the ad, making you watch closely and wonder who is speaking to you and what they are trying to sell. Hey, they caught your attention didn’t they? As for dating, be this girl if you are not, won’t be, or can’t be any of the above. The best place to be this girl is a new one, as in a bar or neighborhood you typically do not frequent. The key here—guys do not know you. Stroll in with one other girl, two at most, and pretend not to notice anyone else at the bar. Grab a spot in a back corner, and park yourself there for most of the night. Have intriguing conversations with your friend(s) and meanwhile scan the bar for McDreamy (or McDreamies). Make eye contact every so often and be sure to continue your conversation without missing a beat. If he’s interested he should approach you, and if he doesn’t, don’t fret. Instead, walk out with confidence, shoot him a small smile, say nothing, and come back on a similar night to be that mysterious girl he gets to see again. He will be wondering about you… In the end, I’m a fan of mixing it up a bit depending on the following: how your work week went, your posse for the evening, which bar you’re heading to, and frankly what your gosh darn mood is like that night. Take notice, if there are too many drop dead gorgeous girls there—be different, cut through the clutter. Be the mysterious one, be the Charlize Theron in the Dior ad, or be a sassy and funny Tina Fey, or be what you know will set you apart from the crowd (in a smart, ladylike way of course). You will stand out and maybe you’ll learn a bit about yourself. You will most likely have more fun, and realize that perhaps being single in Smalltimore, or any other city, isn’t so bad after all.