Lavalife makes Summer Love with Virgin, Colgate

The Toronto-based online dating site is launching the sophomore edition of its 'Canada's Top Singles' contest with more media, new brand sponsorship and an expanded event finale. Additional tiered sponsorship opps are available.

Canadians, it seems, are not afraid of telling the whole country just how single they are., the online dating site with almost 750,000 active members, is getting ready to fire up the media buy behind its second annual Canada’s Top Singles contest, a four-month social media contest in which Canadians vie to win the title of male and female ‘top single’ and a VIP weekend of parties at Lavalife’s ‘Summer Lovin” event in Toronto. Contestants must first nominate themselves or others (and join Lavalife), and then they’re voted on by the public. The winners will be selected from the top 10 contestants with the most votes.

With Colgate on board for the second year as title sponsor (promoting its MaxWhite toothpaste brand; last year it promoted MaxFresh), the contest kicks off in April with a staggered media buy handled by Lavalife MAOR Mindshare (TV, OOH) and DPS Media (print), both of Toronto. Other media was handled internally.

The print buy focuses on regional weekly and daily media, including Now, Metro and the Georgia Straight, and Rogers’ magazines Hello! and Flare. It also includes OOH in downtown Toronto transit stations and online.

Just announced is a media partnership with Virgin Radio in Toronto, which involves host promotion of the grand-finale Summer Lovin’ event and sponsorship tags of the purchased spots on the station. The station will also provide talent to the event, which takes place July 14 to 18.

Colgate’s sponsorship will include branding on contest promotions and on the Lavalife site. For example, singles interested in meeting other singles can send them a ‘smile’ which will include MaxWhite branding. That direct connection with users was a key point of interest in renewing the title sponsorship, Lavalife CMO Jason Sikora says.

‘Their objective is to connect with singles, and have them be a front-and-centre point of reference when you’re thinking about going out and being date-ready,’ he tells MiC.

Sikora says that the company hopes to increase participation in the contest by 25% this year by increasing the media support behind it and by offering better prizing through the VIP experience. (The contest also features cash prizes for the winners, participants and voters.) Last year, the contest received 3,700 entries and 51,000 votes.

‘It really is a differentiator for us,’ Sikora says, of bringing the contest back after a successful first year. ‘We’ve always been about celebrating the single life and enjoying being single. This contest really works well with our brand because it’s about that. It’s about celebrating being single and a positive image for our brand and connecting really well with our audience.’

The media campaign will run throughout the contest and possibly further into the fall to promote the winners.