Brands Looking For Love on Tinder

Well maybe not true love, but who on Tinder really is, right? From NGOs to top consumer brands, digital-savvy marketers are infiltrating this dating app to reach their young target audience when they least expect it – while browsing for their next “date.”

If you’re single, most likely you’re on Tinder, or have at least heard of it. If you’re in a relationship, you have probably sat next to your pal as they swipe through their potential dates, toasting when they get a match. “Tinder-ing” is hard to avoid. Not familiar with Tinder? That’s okay, continue reading to get the scoop and perhaps try to get out more.

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This fast-growing mobile app was first introduced as more of a casual hook-up app because it offers up potential matches based on your proximity. It first finds your locations through your phone’s GPS, leverages your information from Facebook to create your profile (first name, age, selected photos and then any pages you have liked in the past). You are then served up potential matches based on a few criteria you select upfront. This is where the real fun begins — you just need to simply swipe right to “like them” or swipe left “to pass.” If they’ve also “liked” you, then congrats, you’ve matched. It’s easy and addictive. The start-up also plans to roll out a premium version soon in the US where users can “undo” their swipes and update their location as they travel to maximize the Tinder experience.

The New York Times shared some stats that would make many marketers realize the value of this platform:

The demographic tends to range in age from 18-34 years old. That’s a target most marketers are trying to reach, but it’s difficult in today’s cluttered media landscape, not to mention the pay-to-play social media space.

But before you go back to your clients, get all the facts. Tinder has not yet rolled out an advertising model. In fact, the brands that have pushed their content have done so without the start-up’s approval.

1. Ireland’s Anti-Trafficking Campaign

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This campaign causes a strong response. The Immigrant Council of Ireland created fake profiles featuring several beautiful women. As you thumb through their photos it reveals women who are bruised and restrained with the message “Your options are left or right. Women forced into prostitution in Ireland have none.” The final photo reads “sex trafficking victims have no option. You have the option to end it now.” Another NGO, SocialTees, created a similar campaign to raise awareness for abandoned animals.

2. Gap’s Pants Party

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This clothing brand attempted to create buzz for its spring line though what they have called a “guerilla marketing campaign” inviting Tinder users to Gap’s Pants Party. This was quickly shut down by Tinder as it violated the app’s terms of service. A Domino’s Valentine’s Day effort in the U.K. received the same rejection. With no paid advertising model in place, the start-up has swiftly taken action to prevent brands from pushing content on their platform.

So you may ask, what is allowed?

3. Gillette’s Shave Test

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Proctor & Gamble razor brand, Gillette, partnered with Tinder to research what women found more desirable – full beards, stubble or clean-shaven men. According to Gillette, well-groomed guys killed it with 74% of the total right swipes and 37% more matches. Then they created a fun video and pushed the results to Shavetest.com. P&G is not releasing the amount paid to Tinder, but they were compensated and it’s safe to say this “research” was probably more effective and viral than a traditional 30-second spot.

So what does all this mean for digital advertising? Well it’s certainly dynamic.

As marketers we need to rethink how we’re reaching our target audience. It’s such a cluttered landscape, especially in digital. Listen, by no means are we recommending this to our clients, but you can’t help but applaud the renegades who have tapped into Tinder. They certainly caught their target’s attention and served them up something truly innovative.

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