Ashley Madison gets experimental

The much-maligned dating site drops the affairs and repositions itself as a place for "open-minded dating."

One year ago this week, you probably couldn’t be any lower than Ashley Madison. The dating website, already looked down on by many for actively courting users looking to have an affair, had data for all of its 37 million users stolen by hackers, who threatened to release it if the site and parent company Avid Life Media didn’t cease operations. They didn’t give into the hackers demands, so the data was released over the next two months.

Fast forward to today, and the Toronto-based parent company – now re-branded as Ruby – is making an effort to move Ashley Madison away from “affairs” and to be more of site for “open-minded” couples and singles interested in non-traditional relationships.¬†It’s dropped most of the elements from its branding that previously screamed “you should cheat on your spouse,” such as the close-up on a finger held up to a pair of lips telling people to “hush” and its “life is short, have an affair” tagline.

“It was a limiting label that’s out-dated and doesn’t speak to the wide variety of connections people find on Ashley Madison,” said Rob Segal, Ruby’s new CEO, in a press release. “Close to 45% of our members are single, over 50% are attached and they are interested in a wide range of experiences. While remaining true to our roots, Ashley Madison needs to evolve, grow and attune to modern sexuality in 2016.”

It launched a new campaign featuring three spots, created by an in-house creative and production team at the company.¬†Though the “Hotel” spot does feature a couple that seems to be less-than-satisfied with their sex life due to their busy schedules – which gets one of them exchanging flirty looks with a stranger at a conference – we suppose there’s nothing in there that specifically says they aren’t in an open relationship.

Okay, we might be giving Ashley Madison a little too much slack on that one, but the other two spots are very explicitly not about cheating. “Poly” features a couple who, though happy together, seem to be in a bit of a rut, until they meet another woman at a party and give each other a knowing cock of the eyebrow. “Train” doesn’t feature a couple at all, instead showing an obviously single, down-on-his-luck guy who makes a connection with a women who is out of his league on the subway, the kind of meet-cute moment you might find in an independent romantic comedy.


Brand: Ashley Madison (Ruby)
Creative Director: Justine Galea
Director: Jared Pelletier
Producer: Michael Chwastiak
Executive Producer: Brian Offenhiem
Director of Photography: Kiel Milligan
Production Manager: Sandra Alcocer
First Assistant Director : Emma Sutherland
Second Assistant Director: Joycelin Lai
Colour Grade Studio: Alter Ego
Music: Tom Rosenthal