Oscar Meyer has released a fully functioning dating app called Sizzl. According to my colleague Emma Lord at Bustle, the set up is simple: you create a basic profile and then answer a bunch of questions about your bacon preferences, including (but not limited to) which type of bacon you prefer and your opinions on liquid-smoke flavored bacon. The whole process is littered with meat-related puns which, I must admit, the punny, dorky side of kind of loves.
Once you’ve put in your info, the app will match you based on your answers. (So, not super sophisticated here, obvs.) Once you’ve been matched, you use the Sizzl button to indicate how into them you are. Sizzl’s version of a swipe, the button is just a little heart on the right hand side that you press for longer or shorter in order to indicate how into the person you are. The longer you press, the “hotter” it gets, which is indicated by the background getting redder and redder.
So that’s the nuts and bolts of this bad boy which, according to the other Emma, hasn’t quite taken off yet. (She ends her post with a call to action to get people on the app, saying that there are “like ten people on it right now.”)
But this where things start go a little Twilight Zone-y for me because, while I know that Sizzl is an advertising gimmick and, to some extent, a parody of dating apps, the whole thing actually seems like it could be totally legit. We have dating apps for all kinds of very specific things days. Why not America’s favorite breakfast meat? Shit, my boyfriend loves bacon so much that there was a few months where he ate it almost every meal — no joke. People really love bacon and the reality of online dating is that it’s just about breaking the ice, right? Why not do it in a fun, silly way that has the potential to pull in millions of bacon lovers?
It’s actually kind of genius.
The other thing that I’m wrapping my mind around is the fact that more and more companies seem to be creating tech products as a way to advertise. The one that sticks out the most for me was Durex’s Fundawear, which they never produced on a mass scale but people are still searching for it. How do I know? It’s one of the top search terms that brings people to my website, Kink&Code. I used to get an email at least once a month from long distance couples asking about where they could buy Fundawear. It got so annoying that I wrote a whole other post about actual long distance sex toys that you can actually buy.
I love the idea of creative advertising and I love the idea of non-tech companies pushing innovation in tech. What I don’t love is companies getting customers excited about these innovations and then not delivering, like Durex did with Fundawear. In the case of Sizzl, Oscar Meyer is promising to keep the app active for six months, at which point they’ll probably stop providing the money and support to keep it going.
Here’s what I think. If there are any intrepid app entrepreneurs reading this (and I’d be very, very surprised if there weren’t), why not take it up when Oscar Meyer drops it? After all, everyone loves bacon.