Brands have run into a difficult time when it comes to Tinder advertising. Just earlier this month, Gap’s new campaign, which planned to feature Tinder messages inviting people to a “pants party,” was pulled off the dating app. The guerrilla campaign was deemed an unauthorized use of the platform.
“We did not approve this campaign,” a Tinder spokesperson said in a statement at the time. Last week, the service shut down a Brazilian safe-sex awareness campaign citing a violation of the company’s terms of service. Tinder didn’t respond to a request for comment.
It’s a tough call for brands, used to trying to make a mark on whatever new platform happens to catch the public’s imagination. But so far, Tinder, which is owned by IAC/InterActive, has remained ad-free, although the company is considering allowing advertising down the line.
The company recently introduced a premium service in the U.K., Tinder Plus, which offers additional features like an “Undo Swipe” option and “Passport,” which lets you look up users outside the usual 120-mile zone. According to a Barclays report, Tinder is expected to hit 40 million monthly active users by April.
What has worked on Tinder is an approach MeUndies — which once cheekily circumvented Facebook’s ban on its ads featuring scantily clad models using stick figures — has tried. This weekend, the brand used Tinder to mine some content: MeUndies put a bunch of its leggy models on Tinder, then watched the sleazy pick-up lines roll in. Then, models wearing MeUndies read them out loud on YouTube.
“What you see is a content-marketing approach to advertising on Tinder,” said Dan King, director of business development and customer acquisition at MeUndies. “We know it’s stuff people on Tinder would like to see, versus interrupting their actual Tinder experience.”
But MeUndies isn’t the first brand to use Tinder to shill its products. Tinder has been used to…
… rescue dogs
Ad agency BBH’s internship program BBH Barn worked with New York animal rescue organization Social Tees by creating profiles of dogs, complete with interests and hobbies, and putting them on the platform.
… raise awareness about sex trafficking
Irish ad agency eightytwenty created Tinder profiles for three characters. When users swiped through pictures, they saw the women transform into bruised abuse victims. “Your options are left or right. Sex trafficking victims have no options.”
… show you how unattractive smoking is
Anti-smoking organization ASH created two Tinder profiles for the same exact girl with one major difference. One profile showed the girl smoking in pictures. The other didn’t. The “girl” then liked 1,000 men. She received double the amount of matches on the non-smoking profile.
… shill a TV Show
FOX’s “The Mindy Project” had one of the few Tinder-sanctioned ads on the platform, although the company called it a “strategic partnership” and said it didn’t consider it advertising. The show put fake profiles for Mindy and other characters on the platform. USA’s Suits also had a similar program, but Bloomberg reports that Tinder didn’t get any money from that campaign.
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