Swiping to Success: Is Tinder is the Best ‘Out of the Box’ Marketing Tool?

Social Media has become a super prominent form of marketing in the last several years. Because it has become so popular and so expected of a company,  brands have come out with a countless number of creative and unique social media campaigns. Almost every day it seems that there’s a new funny, cheek in tongue campaign released.


On of my favourite and, in my opinion, most creative way that I have seen brands use social media is companies using Tinder to advertise their products. It may shock you to hear this about an app notorious for bad pick up lines and hookups, but I’m telling you: this idea is GENIUS. Everyone uses Tinder. EVERYONE. Advertising on the app is literally just reaching out to a huge, concentrated pool of millennial. The official stats are 50 million Tinder users with 79% falling in to the millennial demographic and brands are jumping on board.

Several movies and TV shows have created fake profiles for their characters. For example, a fake profile of a totally beautiful, 25 year old called Ava popped up at the music festival SXSW. Ex-MachinaAfter matching, the user would have a bit of cute banter with Ava before being redirected to her Instagram account which advertised the movie Ex Machina. Users may have thought they were matching with Zac Efron, Adam Devine, Aubrey Plaza, or Anna Kendrick when profiles of their characters from the movie Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates began popping up on the app. After matching, users would be sent a message from the character asking them to go see the movie.  TV shows like Suits, The Walking Dead, and The Mindy Project also created profiles for their characters.

Brands have used the dating app as a marketing platform as well. Dominos used the app to advertise a Valentine’s Day pizza date (Netflix & pizza sounds like an amazing date, in my opinion!). Even brands which don’t seem particularly romantic like Ford and Uber dominos-tinder1have used the app. One of the cutest ads I’ve seen was for Kellogg’s Pop Tarts. The ad suggested that users “heat things up tonight” and featured photos of Pop Tarts doing things which can be found in typical, real Tinder profiles. dkxflclx0aagfxl.jpg

Even more surprising is brands using the app for social good (and no, I’m not joking about this). Amnesty International ran an ad campaign over International Women’s Day to raise awareness about forced marriages. After matching. users would be redirected offsite for more information. The Body Shop ran a campaign centred around Reggie the red shanked douc monkey to raise awareness about endangered animals. There have even been ads warning users about STIs that have been spreading in the area. Although this ad was quite controversial, it seems very relevant to an app known for hookups!


This is a really great, fun option for advertising on social media. Not that many companies are doing it yet, so it doesn’t really impact the user’s experience meaning that it’s still viewed as something cute and quirky rather than annoying. The advertisements will really register with the users as they will have the user’s undivided attention as it occupies their whole screen. It’s effective because it’s informative, compelling. rewarding, and entertaining. It doesn’t appear overtly as an ad, which really no one likes to have an ad interrupting their social media use, the ads blend in to the context of the app. As with the Ex Machina Ava ad, it looked so much like it was part of the app that it actually fooled people in to thinking that they were going to get a real date out of this match!


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