Kia claims that 1 in 5 relationship breakups occur after a couple fights over one person's driving skills (or lack thereof). This gave rise to a little socio-marketing experiment by the company called Drive Dating, which involved sending 20 Kia Picantos, 20 single guys, and 20 single girls to the London Zoo for a four-wheeled take on speed dating. The idea was to see how compatible a couple was in the confines of an automobile before they began dating in earnest. (Also, it provided the perfect excuse to arrange 20 cars in the shape of a heart and release pictures of said arrangement to the media.)
Participants played musical cars, spending three minutes in the front seat with an eligible bachelor or bachelorette before moving onto another car and another potential love match. The automaker supplied mood music and icebreaker questions, but good looks, engaging personalities, and reasonable levels of personal hygeine were the sole responsibility of the Drive Daters. Once the participants each made a full circuit through the Picantos, Kia sent them to a bar for debriefing and an opportunity for potentially "interested" couples to pick up where they left off.
Another Drive Dating event is scheduled for this week, and Kia would like to make it a regular thing if it proves to be successful.
How Kia will determine that level of success is not known, but if participants start locking the doors, moving to the second row of seating and taking more than their alloted three minutes ... well ...that might be an indicator that this Drive Dating thing is working out just fine.
(Kia press release after the jump)
[Source: Kia Motors UK] 15 June 2006
DRIVE DATING SETS SINGLETONS IN A SPIN
Yesterday saw the launch of a new high octane-dating phenomenon – Drive Dating. Forget speed dating – the latest way to find out if a future partner is compatible in love is in the front seat of a car.
Research shows that driving with your 'other half' is the ultimate test of love, with one in five singletons admitting to ending a relationship after arguing with a partner about their driving. So why not find out how suited you are in a car before you start going out?
To put the theory to the test, Kia Motors gave traditional dating techniques an MOT by hosting the first 'Drive Dating' event in the anthropological settings of London Zoo last night. A second event will take place in Manchester on 22 June amongst the ironwork of The Museum of Science and Industry.
So how did it work? Instead of having a stilted conversation across a table, 20 guys and 20 girls had three minutes in the front seat of a Kia Picanto Date. Supplied with mood music and ice-breaker questions, the couples talked about their likes and dislikes, break-ups and make-ups, and what they really hate people doing behind the wheel.
Once all 20 couples had met, the evening moved into top gear as Kia whisked them off to a local bar, informed of any matches and, and given the chance to pick up their conversations where they left off... Kia will be staying in touch to see if any perfect partnerships take off!
Paul Williams, Managing Director of Kia Motors (UK) Limited said "Arguing in the car is a common experience that many couples go through. We wanted to help couples at the earliest stages of their relationship find out how well suited they are on the road, as well as off. Regular dating events can often feel enforced and awkward so we set out to create an event that mirrored a real life situation and allowed single people to 'road test' their relationship... literally!"
The combination of the surprising surroundings and the in-car dating created a night to remember. After the events, Kia will be keeping in touch with the 'drive daters' to find out which couples get each other's motor racing. Judging by the number of entrants, Kia hopes that Drive Dating will become a regular event to give even more people the chance to 'fuel' their quest for love.