OK, cougars, get ready to roar.
Cougar Life, the site “where experienced women meet younger men,” just launched a spot that shows women of a certain age—35 to 45—prepping for a night out and hitting the strobe-lit dance floor with twenty-something guys.
The phrase “going down with you” throbs on the techno-pop soundtrack. And in just 30 seconds, we get two suggestive shots of frothy champagne spurting all over the place. (Once is never enough, as the saying goes.)
Ah well, Cougar Life parent Ruby Corp. isn’t known for its subtlety.
Last year, the company rebranded its flagship Ashley Madison brand, casting the property—rocked by a massive data breach in 2015 and long viewed as a seamy resource for folks seeking partners for infidelity—as a hip, safe venue for open-minded adults interested in sexual experimentation.
Alas, Ashley’s slice-of-life spots about men and women looking to expand their sexual horizons were mainly just creepy. Still, the brand’s “Find Your Moment” tagline lowered the sleaze factor considerably from its previous theme, “Life Is Short. Have an Affair.”
Unhampered by Ashley Madison’s considerable baggage, Cougar Life—via Ruby’s in-house creative team—takes a simpler, more straightforward path in the new ad, inviting its target audience to meet youthful studs, pop a few corks and indulge in consensual fun. (Ladies can sign up for free, while lads pay $36 a month. Among the site’s 7 million members, men outnumber women by roughly six to one.)
“The old branding was focused around shock lines, frat humor and stereotypes,” Ruby rep Debra Quinn tells AdFreak. “Our new branding is more reflective of the way our members describe actual Cougar relationships and their own attitudes—confident and open to exploring new experiences.”
There’s also some suggestion Cougar Life can help users recapture the spirit of their youth. The ad’s opening scenes show women primping for their dates and giddily checking out dudes on their phones, perhaps reliving the anticipation and excitement of their college/clubbing years. This time, however, they’re older and wiser—more fully in control of their destinies, seeking companionship as they see fit and going after what they want.
Overall, the ad’s empowering message should resonate, even if the disco/champers imagery seems a tad tacky (and calling men “cubs,” as the site blithely does, is almost too cutesy to bear).
“Cougars tell us that the benefit of dating a younger man is that they are often more free-spirited,” says Quinn, “and that makes them feel appreciated, sexy and alive.”
Creative Director: Justine Galea
Director: Jared Pelletier
Producers: Mitch Cappe, Michael Chwastiak
Director of Photography: Chris Lew
Production Manager: Joel Schneider
First Assistant Director: Rick Morris
Color Grade Studio: Alter Ego
Music: Michele Wylen ft. Niko Javan – Mental
Media Buy: Fearless Group NYC
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