Halifax business group tries to ease those date night woes

DHBC campaign entices consumers to explore the city during the winter months

Bad pick-up lines and kitschy ’80s hair styles, eyeglasses and fashion are starring in an online campaign aimed at getting people to buy date packages in downtown Halifax.

The campaign for the Downtown Halifax Business Commission (DHBC) aims to get people out of their homes – a challenge during winter – and to buy various date night packages in the downtown core.

“Finding the right date is hard. The rest we’ve made easy,” concludes a video for the campaign that features love-seeking characters saying things like “if you don’t believe in love at first sight, let me reintroduce myself” or “I am a love machine.”

The campaign launched Feb. 5 and runs for the rest of the month. It also includes print ads in the weekly The Coast.

As of Feb. 17, half of the available Date Packages at DowntownHalifax.ca have been sold. So far, the centrepiece video has been seen more than 27,000 times on Facebook and almost 14,000 times on YouTube.

“We wanted to really speak to young adults, and they’re hard to reach,” says Brian Hickling, creative director at Extreme Group, which created the campaign.

Facebook was seen as a natural place to reach locals and young people – early adopters who could get the word out to a larger audience, he says. “It was meant to be done quickly and tactically as opposed to a long-term strategic campaign.”

The Date Night packages make it easy to have a night out on the town, says Brenden Sommerhalder, director of communications and marketing at the DHBC. “The only thing we can’t do for you is find a passable date partner.”

There are currently seven packages offered by various establishments in downtown Halifax. Each includes a $25 Downtown Halifax pre-paid Visa card.

One of the packages includes a night at the Westin Hotel and bottle of wine, three hours admission at the Board Room Game Cafe and two drinks for $144.

Hickling says the campaign has an ’80s look by design. “We thought that instead of making it happen in today’s dating landscape, it would be more fun to be retro.”

The ’80s are in now because the younger crowd sees the decade as hip and cool and it also appeals to nostalgic older people, he says.

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