In December 2012, Zoosk launched #Heart Friend, building on the idea of a woman having a conversation with her heart.Zoosk leveraged You Tube's True View in-stream ads, which allowed audiences to skip the ad after 5 seconds, and You Tube's standard in-stream ads, which forced audiences to view the entire ad.Speaking to the crowd at SXSW this year, co-founder Steve Chen said they changed their minds about five days after opening the site.In those five days, absolutely no on had come to You Tube to upload a dating video.As Jane put, "We were looking for an opportunity to have more dialogue.The ads didn't have to be in your face." Zoosk turned to online pre-roll formats to target their audience of 25-35 year olds.The idea failed to materialize in five days of that format, however, as no one uploaded a single video.This is when the founders decided to open the platform to accept all forms of video content, birthing the You Tube that we know today.
Such a service would be similar to the ‘80s-era video-dating services that were popular long before the internet.
“OK, forget the dating aspect, let’s just open it up to any video,” Chen said.
A couple of years later, of course, it seduced the pants off Google, and the two have been co-existing harmoniously ever since.
This let Zoosk place its audience at the heart of its marketing, give people the authority to choose their ads, and hold deeper conversations. As Jane Barrett, Director of Marketing & Communications at Zoosk, described, Zoosk has a very specific goal: to build "fame." For them, broad awareness isn't adequate; their goal is unaided awareness.
The results were clear: staggering lifts in unaided awareness, consideration and preference. Zoosk originally sought fame through TV ads, but in 2012, Zoosk wanted to refresh their creative and look towards a more conversational platform.
It uses Web M, H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, and Adobe Flash Video technology to display a wide variety of user-generated and corporate media videos.