By: Todd M. Schoenberger, @TMSchoenberger

Americans love a success story, especially a turnaround tale about a person or group falling on hard times after some remarkable error only to return to greatness.

The widely-used and often criticized website, AshleyMadison.com, has rebranded and renamed itself as ruby.  The company describes itself as ‘the open-minded relationship company that owns boundary-pushing AshleyMadison.com’.  And for those not in the know (or refuse to admit how they do know), Ashley Madison was best known as the place to go for those in committed (i.e., marriage) relationships seeking an affair.

As the company’s famously tagged slogan stated: Life is Short. Have an Affair.

todd-m-schoenberger-cougar-life-adIn an ironic twist, just as a discovered affair can lead to a disastrous end to any relationship, Ashley Madison crumbled when the personal information of its members had been released following a data breach hack.  The resulting impact was felt worldwide as countless amounts of marriages immediately failed, thus leading the company to quickly reset its corporate brand and mission statement.

Marriage proponents and religious groups, including the hypocritical stallions preaching the infamous line of “do as I say, not as I do,” were cheering the end of such a destructive force for those working on a death do us part relationship.  In reality, though, the infidelity portal may have been available, but in the end, a proactive human is the one responsible for cheating.  Blaming a website for wrongdoing is the equivalent of blaming McDonald’s for obese kids.

Fortunately for companies like ruby, sex always sells.  And, as a result, it enables a fractured organization like AM.com to rebrand itself while providing a purpose to exist.

And now we welcome to the stage, the always intriguing Cougar.

What’s a Cougar, you ask?  Well, according to UrbanDictionary.com, it’s when an older woman frequents clubs to score with a much younger man.  Realizing the market potential for matching these so-called Cougars with potential mates (i.e., Cubs), plus in need of an extensive rebrand, ruby has decided to relaunch CougarLife.com.

“Cougar Life strives to be the premiere online dating destination for confident, optimistic women who are looking to spark connections with younger men,” said ruby CEO Rob Segal, per a company statement.  Segal added that Cougar Life has already attracted close to seven million members worldwide.

Whether you believe in the company or possess a high moral compass, one thing we can all agree on is websites like CougarLife.com are cash cows.  According to a ruby spokesperson, CougarLife.com is free for women, and free for men to sign-up and browse.  But if a man wishes to connect, they must become a paid member.

Memberships to Cougar Life vary for men, depending on the package selected, which start at $36 a month.  Or, for the Cub interested in a discount, annual memberships are available for $15 a month—with a 12-month, ahem, commitment.  You don’t need to be a math genius to calculate how the majority of members are likely to be male-paying participants.

todd-m-schoenberger-cougar-lifeAll successful initiatives are usually backed up with statistics, and Cougar Life has provided us with some juicy data.  According to a company statement, North America’s top Cougar dating city on Cougar Life is—no surprise considering how female Manhattanites ooze promiscuity—is New York City, with an average Cougar couple span of seven years.  The average age of NYC-based Cougar Life Cubs (male members) is 29 and the average Cougars’ is 36 years old.

Toronto, Canada boasts the second most Cougars on the site, with an average nine-year span between Cubs and Cougars.  And, Houston, Texas is the third most active Cougar Life dating city.  Rounding out the top 10 are: Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Atlanta, Las Vegas, San Francisco and Phoenix.

“The repositioning of Cougar Life is an important milestone in the overall transformation of ruby in a multi-faceted innovator that truly reflects many kinds of modern relationships and a new openness about sexuality and connection,” says Segal.

Cougar Life’s guerrilla marketing campaign includes a television ad spot, which is set to begin rolling next week.  To preview the ad, simply click here.

Have fun, ladies!

Todd M. Schoenberger is a Director for Jones Falls Financial Publishing.  He is not a member of CougarLife.com, but does know a few of its very happy members.