With a network of millions that together swipe about 750 million times per day, Tinder offers huge amounts of opportunities for brands to engage with consumers in a new way beyond traditional social media.

Tinder founder and CEO, Sean Rad said at last years’ web summit, “Our ad business is still in its infancy but we are experimenting and creating a bigger team as we get more serious. There will be a major push on our advertising business next year but when we work with brands we want to ensure that their advertising doesn’t take away from the delight of the user’s Tinder experience. It must be authentic.”

So why is Tinder such a great resource to tap into your target market? Quite simply, brands that advertise through Tinder have users’ undivided attention. Once a user swipes right, the campaign fills their entire mobile screen, and that’s all they’ll see until they swipe left. This ensures a more focused user experience than those offered by traditional social platforms.

Here are a seven brands that have successfully implemented clever Tinder marketing campaigns––and what you can learn from them.

1) Domino’s

Domino’s turned up the heat during Valentine’s Day 2014 with a Tinder campaign, which allowed users to swipe right for the chance to get discounts and even free pizza. The brand engaged hungry users in pun-filled Valentine’s chats and then sent tasty rewards to the best ones.

The campaign resulted in over 700 Tinder matches and a social reach of more than 200,000. The reason it was so successful was because even though it was an ad, the content fit perfectly within the context of Valentine’s day and cheering up singletons on a traditionally miserable day.

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What this can teach us: Ensure your profile image is bold and simple enough to be understood at a quick glance. Users spend between 2-4 seconds on each image before speedily swiping through profiles, so you have a tiny window in which to communicate your message and grab people’s attention.

2) The Atlanta Hawks & Bud Light

The Atlanta Hawks created memorable experiences for basketball fans by hosting Swipe Right Night, where the team encouraged fans to swipe right for a chance to win access to “Love Lounges” filled with other singles.

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What this can teach us: These brands used Tinder to create enjoyable real-world experiences by looking at the traditional method of meeting people in a fun setting. These campaigns embody the idea of putting your customer first. This teaches brands that the customer should always be at the heart of what they do and should always be thinking about integrating messages in different mediums/experiences.

3) SXSW

Male attendees at last year’s SXSW festival connected with a goregeous 25-year-old woman named Ava only to discover, after chatting for a while, that Ava was in fact a robot.

The big reveal happened following a bit of friendly banter, when Ava’s matches were directed to her Instagram profile promoting the film – Ex Machina, which premiered at the festival.

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What this can teach us: This campaign was incredibly targeted due to the festival and managed to fool users into thinking they were chatting with a real woman which is a different approach to Tinder advertisers. You could question its morality when preying on single men in order to promote a brand and Tinder would certainly get annoying if every brand and its dog adopted this strategy.

If your brand decided to explore this type of campaign, you could offer a reward of some kind following your big reveal so that users feel like they’ve gained something in exchange for their time.

4) Suits + Walking Dead

USA Network hooked up with Tinder by setting up profiles to promote the third season of Suits. The campaign was aimed at driving viewers to the season premiere of the show. Users were prompted to match with either Harvey Specter or Rachel Zane, depending on their gender preference settings. Users that swiped right on a character’s profile got access to exclusive content from the show available only to Tinder users.

Another TV series that took advantage of the Tinder platform was The Walking Dead who infiltrated Tinder with cute young ladies. Once chats got underway, the ladies started turning into walkers complete with decaying profile picture.

 

What this can teach us: Make sure your campaign is on-brand. This worked well for Suits because dating is a big part of the show and the Tinder users at the time were very much within the audience of the viewership for the show.

Walking Dead also worked well because it injected comedy into its chats to give the user some entertainment as well as promoting the show.

5) Amnesty International

Tinder campaigns aren’t always fun; a few nonprofit organisations have taken the opportunity to educate people about important social issues.

Amnesty International Australia used the platform to raise awareness about forced marriages with a campaign launched on International Women’s Day. It replaced profile pictures with images highlighting that oppressed women around the world still aren’t able to make important choices about their lives––the kinds of choices that many of us take for granted. 

6. Social Tees Animal Rescue

For Tinder users wishing they could replace all of the sex pests with cute puppies, Social Tees Animal Rescue  decided to do just that.

Tinder swipers in New York got a happy surprise when they saw that they could match with an adorable puppy that needed a home. After chatting with a pup that has caught your fancy, they then had the option of meeting up with the dog for a walk to help decide if they wanted to take the relationship to the next level via adoption.

The project received over 1,500 matches within the first hour.

What this can teach us: Amnesty International and Social Tees were successful on Tinder because their organisations are related to relationships (Social Tees) and highlighting dating freedoms users take for granted (Amnesty International). A common theme throughout all these brands is that there has to be an emotional connection.

BONUS: USING TINDER TO CONDUCT MARKET RESEARCH

Gillette paid Tinder to research around 100,000 profiles to learn whether designer stubble was less desirable on the platform than clean shaven faces. Gillette didn’t pay for traditional advertising but they advertised the results on their website and on YouTube through the video below.

 

Some brands also get Tinder wrong….. Ahem Hero Condoms and Gap

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