I read a short article this week about how Fox was advertising The Mindy Project, through the dating app Tinder! At first, I thought, why would anyone choose an electronic matchmaker for advertisement? Then I realized, because it gives consumers control, and keeps brands from forcing their advertisements on people who don’t want it. It’s quite ingenious actually.
Fake profiles were created for characters from The Mindy Project, such as Dr. Mindy Lahari and Dr. Danny Castellano, on Tinder. When bachelors and bachelorettes were faced with a character, they swiped “yay” or “nay.” Those who swept “nay” missed out, while those who swiped “yay” received a message from their famous suitors. The message contained a small hello followed by hyperlinks to video clips, sneak peeks, and photos for the show. (2014, Kleinman)
Although the advertisements for The Mindy Project ran last year, at the start of the second season, I thought it would be interesting to explore the advantages and disadvantages of using Tinder as an advertising medium.
Some advantages include direct marketing, interaction, and cost-effectiveness. The app will allow companies and brands to directly communicate with consumers. Providing them with relevant information for new products or enhancing the brand image. Sending a message to consumers with hyperlinks that take them to external videos or the website, allows instant feedback and further exploration of the brand. Finally, brands can reach a large number of consumers for generally no cost.
However, disadvantages include impersonators and fake accounts replicating a company but discrediting their image or spreading false information. Secondly, there is no guarantee people will “yay” and accept messages. Lastly, brands only have one photo to impress users and persuade them to connect. It is also important to interject the fact that people will quickly become upset and bothered by the fake profiles for ads blocking their chances at finding true love.
In an article in Forbes, Rad and Mateen, founders of Tinder explained they are not going to pursue advertisements on Tinder. Instead, they will find monetization through special features, such as paid messaging and prominent profile placement. (2013, Colao)
There’s no denying that companies have a way of infiltrating our most coveted websites, i.e. Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter. So what is stopping them from taking over Tinder, too?