• Twelve minutes to impress on a first date

    April 22nd 2014. Posted in Little Things Mean a Lot

    An AXA study examining the little things that mean a lot in life has revealed that the success of a first date is decided within the first 12 minutes of meeting.

    · First date impressions are formed after only 12 minutes

    · One in 20 ‘research’ their date on social media beforehand

    · Smiling is the most important factor when making a good first impression

    · Men are most likely to offer their date a second chance after a bad first encounter


    An AXA study examining the little things that mean a lot in life has revealed that the success of a first date is decided within the first 12 minutes of meeting.

    Within that time, people will be judged on little things such as their smile (64 per cent), eye contact (58 per cent) and tone of voice (25 per cent) before their potential suitor decides if the date was a success. The study of 2,000 people found body odour to be the most off-putting factor for three in five (58 per cent) daters and over a third (38 per cent) admit to being turned-off by swearing. 

    Judgements are also increasingly being formed pre-date; one in 20 now research their ‘love interest’ on social media, with men accounting for more than half (56 per cent) of those likely to seek out their date online before meeting face-to-face. 

    A quarter (25 per cent) of people will also make improvements to their appearance ahead of time. A new haircut, new perfume or a manicure were the most popular options for women, while one in 20 men admit to growing designer stubble to impress on the day. Some even go as far as dieting in a bid to look their best; one in sixteen women and one in 20 men say they do so in the lead up to a first date.

    Despite all this effort, when bad first impressions are made it is men who are the most forgiving. An encouraging three in five would offer their date a second chance after a disappointing first encounter, but less than half of women would extend the same courtesy if a suitor failed to impress on their initial meeting.


    The top five most important little things to do

    on a first date


    Smiling (64%)


    Eye contact (58%)


    Fresh smelling breath (45%)


    Tone of voice (25%)


    Smart clothes (23%)










    The top five first date turn-offs


    Body odour (59%)


    Bad breath (53%)


    Swearing (38%)


    Scruffy clothes (36%)


    Not smiling (33%)








    Commenting on the research, psychologist Donna Dawson, said:

     “It’s the little things you can do that will mean a lot and will put you ahead in the dating game, for example, good hygiene and fresh breath reveal self-respect and consideration for others. Wearing clothes that make you feel both smart and comfortable will help you to relax, which in turn provides the confidence to create a great first impression. Similarly, eye contact conveys sincerity and trustworthiness, and shows you are interested in the other person. Human beings are programmed to return a smile so smiling, even when you are nervous, will get you and your first date off to a good start.”

    Commenting on the research, Chris Jones AXA Head of Brand, said:

    “That initial step in a relationship can be a nervous experience, but an important one – our research shows you need to think about the little things that will mean a lot on that first date; it appears first impressions are formed very quickly!”


    Media Contacts 
    Notes for Editors 

    About the research

    All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from Opinium Research LLP. Total sample size was 2,003 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 1 – 4 April 2014. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).


    About the AXA ‘Little Things Mean A Lot’ campaign

    AXA launched its ‘Little things mean a lot’ advertising campaign in October 2013. The campaign is a continuation of the previous healthcare and wealth campaigns and supports the message that when AXA customers need them, it’s the little things AXA can do to help that sometimes make the biggest difference. The campaign is supported across TV, radio, digital display and press placement – a mixture of national tabloid and broadsheet, supplements and iPad advertising.


    Legal Notes 

    About AXA

    The AXA Group is a worldwide leader in insurance and asset management, with 161,000 employees serving 103 million clients in 59 countries. In 2015, IFRS revenues amounted to Euro 99.0 billion and IFRS underlying earnings to Euro 5.6 billion. AXA had Euro 1,363 billion assets under management as of December 31, 2015. In 2015 Interbrand ranked AXA the 1st insurance brand worldwide for the 7th consecutive year.

    In the UK AXA operates through a number of business units including: AXA Wealth, AXA Insurance, AXA PPP healthcare, AXA Ireland and an independent distribution business Bluefin. AXA employs over 10,500 staff in the UK.

    The AXA ordinary share is listed on compartment A of Euronext Paris under the ticker symbol CS (ISN FR 0000120628 – Bloomberg: CS FP – Reuters: AXAF.PA). AXA’s American Depository Share is also quoted on the OTC QX platform under the ticker symbol AXAHY.

    The AXA Group is included in the main international SRI indexes, such as Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) and FTSE4GOOD.

    It is a founding member of the UN Environment Programme’s Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) Principles for Sustainable Insurance and a signatory of the UN Principles for Responsible Investment.