Started as a joke: Amazon Dating creator talks about cease and desists, and ‘hot singles’
If you're single and date-less a day before Valentine's Day, perhaps the thought of buying a date makes sense to you. I mean, after all even Karan Johar has paid for... well... we're sure he went for a date first (watch Netflix's cringeworthy What the Love! for reference).
Imagine a site just like Amazon where you can order hot singles from your area, add to cart and have them delivered in an hour for free under Amazon's Prime service (of course you have Prime, what else are you doing with your life anyway).
All these hot singles have profiles up with prices. And with words of affirmation so as you know what you must say (and do) to keep that date going great. Here's Amazon Dating making all of this real for you.
We spoke to Ani Acopian, one of the brilliantly devious minds behind Amazon Dating. It's a joke, we get it. But what's the main idea behind this prank? Is it to just conceptualise a time where you can order a date like the next bestseller and get it delivered in an hour?
Spearheaded by director and conceptual artist Ani Acopian and music producer and writer Suzy Shinn, Amazon Dating was born of a desire to revolutionize online dating — and to make people laugh.
"It started basically because I made a joke that I wished I could Postmates a girlfriend. And then I was like, wait, why can't I do that right now? Not actually, but you know — you can do that with everything else. So we made a mockup of Amazon Dating as a joke that I was going to post as an image on Twitter — like, haha, imagine if this were a thing. And then it went from being a mockup to meeting people who could actually help me make it a real product," says Acopian speaking to Hindustan Times.
Acopian and Shinn partnered with animation studio Thinko and designer Morgan Gruer to flesh out the concept, the goal being to create a new kind of parody model for online dating.
Why do you think you guys are going to get that 'cease and desist'?
"I'm not worried. If we got one we would just do a GoFundMe and I think the Internet would fund it because the Internet," Acopian said.
So, who writes the reviews and who picks the love language?
"Suzy Shinn wrote the copy. I followed her on Twitter and thought her tweets were hilarious and underrated so I asked if she would write copy," explained Acopian adding that the users choose the love language and the height.
How do you decide how 'expensive' each 'product' is?
"We closed our eyes and let our finger hit a number on the keyboard,". Sounds simple enough.
And, are you guys going offline after February 14?
"We will stay online until the Love is Gone,".
It's cheeky, it's fun and this is how it works
We checked out 29-year-old J, she looked like someone who could make my Captain Marvel dreams come true. At $27.98 and free shipping, I could go on a date with J who has gone to Harvard and has never lost her AirPod Pros (my boyfriend has lost one of his and I am SO done with him). The only thing I could customise on J, was her height.
J also had some debatable reviews. Like one user said - "I absolutely love. However upon arrival one of the stones fell out. While this is not detrimental to the look overall, it was incredibly disappointing. I did just replace it, and all is well and no one will ever know except for all of you."
I thought J fit right.
I could tell you how the date went except that it never happened. Amazon Dating is not real. But it is the perfect parody and a great take on a Black Mirror-esque world that is possibly just about a decade away.
While all this is fun, there's 87-year-old Teddy who is no longer in stock, 78-year-old Cora has just 13 pieces left of her and you can get 19-year-old Zach for $4.99… the real thing that makes you go ROFL is when you click on the three lines on the top left corner right next to the Amazon Dating logo.
You get - Deal of the Day, Prime Video, Your Last Relationship, Don't See What You're Looking For? About, Help, FAQ, Legal, Contact and Sign Up options.
Clicking on the 'Deal of the Day' takes you to 50-year-old Cookie. A complete monster, we tell you!
'Prime Video' takes you to the Chatroulette site.
'Your Last Relationship' takes you to the YouTube video of Britney Spears' Toxic.
'Don't See What You're Looking For?' takes you to the Netflix site.
'The About page' tells you that all of this is a joke, at no one's expense. There is Veruca Salt straight out of the Wonka Factory reminding you that it doesn't matter if you want it now, you aren't getting it. Neither the nuts, nor the squirrels and definitely not the date.
'Help' takes you to the WikiHow page for - "How to Unhook a Bra". It's a legit life skill. Trust us.
The 'FAQ's' are pretty straight up - "How does it work?". "It doesn't". And also that you can be on the site as well.
'Legal' gives you a kickass non-ghosting agreement (NGA), which, IMHO, you should get multiple copies made of to distribute as you deem fit.
If you want to be a part of this joke, go ahead, apply. It's super easy. They just want some of your pictures and your name. That's all. Reports have it that more than 10,000 people have signed up to be on this 'fake' dating site already.
What will they do with your picture, except put it up 'on sale'? Hopefully, nothing much. But then you are single, you might as well throw caution to the wind and plunge right in. Personal data be damned.
Happy Valentine's Day, loser!