May 1, 2015 · 2 minutes

What's the best way to garner attention for one of New York's hottest women-led startups?

Raise $40 million in investment funding?

Acquire a competitor?

Have your founder featured in an Inc. piece on how dancing helps her get through the work week?

No. None of the above quite does the trick. At least that's how someone in ClassPass's content marketing department felt.

So this week, the fitness class booking platform published an awkward and degrading post on its blog (Yeah inbound marketing!!!) about how the gym is the ideal place to pick up chicks.

No seriously. This happened.

The dubious article, entitled, "I Asked a Girl Out in Class And…," was written by Brian Levine who is — I can't make this up — part of ClassPass's "Customer Experiences Team."

The blog post relates how its author asks a women from one of his fitness classes out on a date, a yarn full trepidation and anxiety, and the details of a romantic evening out on a quiet Soho night. It seems that the blogger believes that relating his tale of love found is a great way to prod the ClassPass uninitiated into not only using the class booking platform, but attending more fitness classes.

In all honesty, relating a You've Got Mail-style romantic story as a way to sell a product isn't a crime at all, and it's actually a smart marketing. However, through the author's skilled pen, the romance of the tale is...umm...lost.

Just take a quick look at some of the Hemingway-esque swings of emotion found in the short manifesto.

First, we glean some insight on what it is really like to be a single millenial:

"Now dudes, anyone who doesn’t think the preliminary stage of dating in today’s digital era is a chess match based off read receipts and emoticon usage is kidding themselves."
Yes. Mr. Levine, we certainly are.

Then, after "stealing a kiss" at the end of his date, the author's thoughts immediately go to his employer:

"Taking the stairs two a time down to the subway, I realized that had I never joined ClassPass, this date would have never happened. ClassPass allowed me to step out of my comfort zone, both in terms of physical fitness and social interaction. So dudes, why are you still reading this? Open up your ClassPass account; book your next class and do something that surprises yourself."
Dudes, I hope you are still reading this, because we still have the piece de résistance of this magnum opus:
"But if you are still on the fence, adding ClassPass to your routine gives you access to a community of high energy, motivated and like-minded individuals. And for you single bros out there, where better to meet a lady than at a fitness class? Between the sweat, endorphins and the potential for less clothing than usual, the stage is set for us guys to make your move."
Ah, yes, fellow bros. Where else to meet a girl than a sweaty room with endorphins whizzing through the air and the women wearing workout clothes that makes them extra self-conscious as you stare lustily during downward dog.


We literally aren't a month out from the Ellen Pao trial, which was supposed to get a tipping point for trying to improve the sexism and mysogyny ingrained in the startup world, and here you have this guy trying to drop some knowledge to his bros in the least self-aware and offensive way possible.

But at least he's got folks talking about ClassPass!