Match.com Retools Image

BOSTON Dating site Match.com has bowed a multimedia push introducing the tagline “It’s okay to look” in ads crafted by independent Hanft Unlimited in New York.

The work essentially relaunches the service and touts Match’s Portrait Toolkit, which allows users to seek advice (from Jay Manuel of America’s Next Top Model) about wardrobe, hair, makeup and other attributes to make their photographs more appealing.

This represents a departure from Match’s recent efforts featuring TV self-help guru Dr. Phil McGraw as pitchman.

“The category as a whole has been missing real guidance about how to feel good about going online and be proud of the quirks that make you beautiful,” said Jim Safka, CEO of Match. “Romance and love are very personal, and yet many people create their profiles in minutes, using photos with bad lighting or not filling out any information about who they truly are as a person.”

Twenty-six real site members—chosen for their widely ranging ages, locations and lifestyles—star in the campaign, representing the diversity and variety of the online community.

The effort includes TV, radio and print, and the profiled Match users will chronicle their experiences through personal blogs. Photographer Peggy Sirota contributed to the campaign.

Interpublic Group’s Mullen in Wenham, Mass., handles buying chores on the Match business though its MediaHub unit.

Match is a unit of IAC/InterActiveCorp. The brand spends about $60 million annually in domestic measured media, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus. Client rival eHarmony.com spends about $90 million per year on ads, and its TV spots frequently star users who married each other after meeting through the service.

Match’s latest campaign represents an effort to stay competitive in a slowing market. After nearly a decade of double-digit growth, online dating revenue rose 7 percent last year to slightly more than $515 million, per Jupiter Media. (Match’s share is about $250 million.)