24.03.2015 Running communications campaigns through Tinder; a perfect match or a bad date?

New blockbuster film Ex Machina used a novel way to reach out to its target audience. Attendees at the SXSW festival were matching with an attractive 25-year-old called Ava on the well-known dating app Tinder, but all was not as it seemed.


These lucky people started a conversation with her that, at first seemed normal, but soon Ava was asking a few strange questions such as ‘What makes you human?’.

A very strange question to be asking via Tinder you may think, and you’d be right because it turned out to be a clever marketing ploy by the film’s production company.

Once users had passed Ava’s line of questioning, they were directed to her Instagram page which featured one video, promoting Ex Machina.

We love this example of ‘right place, right time’ marketing, as Ex Machina was set to premiere in North America on the weekend of the festival.

However, both brands and Tinder have to be careful about how often this ‘hijacking’ of the dating app for marketing purposes takes place. If users feel like they are being spammed on this platform, Tinder will undoubtedly take a hit in popularity.

So who are the winners and losers when it comes to lighting up Tinder with marketing messages?

Brands who scored on Tinder

Amnesty International

To mark International Women’s Day last year, Amnesty International used the dating platform to highlight the lack of choice some women face. To achieve this, Amnesty International got Tinder involved, which meant it prioritised Amnesty’s profile so that it would appear on more user’s feeds.

This was a great example of how you can use Tinder as a marketing tool, and as a result, Amnesty International had thousands more ‘clickthroughs’ on that day, meaning that they could target people who may be interested in volunteering.

Amnesty International

Domino’s Pizza

On Valentine’s Day last year, Domino’s took to Tinder to offer users the opportunity to have a ‘hot date’…in the form of a pizza.

Domino’s profile page was available as a match for both men and women and users who matched with them had an opportunity to start a conversation with Domino’s and get freebies and discount codes.

Another pizza my heart anyone?


A New York animal shelter

A New York animal shelter adapted the concept of creating relationships on Tinder to encourage puppy adoption.

They posted images of ten dogs, but matched over 2,700 with owners in less than a week. We hope these abandoned puppies now have a great new home. A case of true puppy love!


Brands who didn’t hit it off


It appears in order to launch a Tinder ad campaign, you must get permission from Tinder bosses first. They didn’t take so kindly to Gap’s ‘guerrilla’ ad campaign ahead of the launch of their new Spring line, and shut down the account alongside issuing a statement which condemned the campaign.

Gap’s campaign used Tinder’s matching concept to encourage users to find their perfect match in denim, and invited them to ‘the pants party’ to help launch the new collection.


Should your brand be on Tinder?

As with any emerging platform, it’s all about matching your message to the medium and the audience. The best examples show how everything from food companies to charities can benefit from clever, well-executed short campaigns. But as our examples also show, it’s important to make sure you talk to Tinder if you want to stage a campaign on their platform. Only then can you be sure of achieving the ideal comms chemistry.