The Immaculate Competition

Headshot of Tim Nudd

“C’mon, boys, do you believe in love?”

Well, it can be hard to find sometimes if you’re a gay man in New York. So when Adam Levine found himself with an extra ticket for last Thursday’s Madonna concert at Madison Square Garden, he got to work on a plan. The result was a “Be my date for the Madonna concert contest”—a bit of tomfoolery on the Web that the marketing-savvy Material Girl herself would appreciate.

The 37-year-old Deutsch brand director created www.madonnaconcert., and beckoned visitors on the site with the message: “The seat next to me is empty. Are you the man to fill it?”

To find out, men in their late 20s to early 40s were asked to e-mail their vitals, an essay of 50 words or less on why they should be chosen (“Be creative, but above all, be honest”), a picture or two and contact info. A week later, Levine had more than 300 entries.

“It was all viral—friends of friends of friends,” he says. “It went around and around and around.”

Levine spoke or met with 10 finalists before picking a winner. “I looked for entries that were witty, funny or smart and made me remember what they wrote,” he says. “You know, like good ad copy.”

He wouldn’t reveal the lucky winner, but perhaps it went well: He was unavailable for comment the day after the show.

@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.