The online dating universe has changed since the time of users relying on websites such as Plenty of Fish or eHarmony. Tinder was the game-changing app that allowed users to “swipe right” or “swipe left” on other users based on proximity, age, gender, photos and any other information on one’s profile. From there, several other brands joined Tinder in this space but formed different personalities. Hinge became focused on relationships, while Bumble took the angle of female empowerment. See below for a comparison of their advertising and how they communicate very different experiences on their apps.
Notorious for being the “Netflix and Chill” and hookup app, Tinder has shifted its communications to try and acknowledging this reputation. In a 2 minute long video, several women come together to discuss douchebags and how to deal with them. In a short series called “Blunt Advice” James Blunt (yes, that singer) calls out some of the common themes on dating profiles from height requirements to shirtless pics. And to kick off the new year, Tinder encourages users to “hang out” in an animated video that just released in early January.
Tinder stays away from mentioning relationships or any type of commitment, which is probably for the best. It’s hard to combat a few years worth reputation with just a handful of success stories being shared publicly. The ads are trendy and relatable to app users who can emphasize with some of the more exaggerated aspects of the app culture.
Bumble has recently repositioned itself to not only be a female-focused dating app but also a networking one. With Bumble, Bumble BFF (to find friends) and Bumble Bizz (for networking), the brand has surpassed being just a dating one. In this app, women make the first move and users must take a verification photo to reduce the risk of a catfish situation. It’s all about feminism for Bumble. Their messages are speaking to females about female issues – regardless which version of the app you’re using.
The ad messaging is relatable for viewers and presents a softer side to the dating app scene. While Tinder had acknowledged the common behaviors of app dating, Bumble ads assure users they wouldn’t experience the more negative aspects.
Hinge is all about relationships. The ads speak to “Why Hinge” and its differentiator among all of the different apps. Hinge matches users with friends of friends that are connected on social media, adding that level of authenticity that Bumble encourages.
The “Let’s Be Real” out of home campaign is filled with copy containing real stories from Hinge users based on the question prompts mentioned in the ad. The stories bring this “what if” idea into consideration – that a simple match, message or date could lead to something more. It’s cute and offers that hope/positivity that any single may be looking for in the online dating sphere.
These three different apps with similar concepts are all living into their personalities in the advertising space. I imagine that any single would begin by downloading one app at first and the app choice would be purely based on reputation among friends and family. I had quickly Googled “how do people choose dating apps” and got served not only several paid ads, but blogs and articles describing each app at length. It calls into question the need for advertising if the reputation and blogs (not mine) are able to provide the pros and cons of each. These brands are living into the stereotypes and insights provided from users and not necessarily communicating anything different. Aside from Bumble expanding its offerings, is there any more work to be done in convincing potential users? I think no, advertising is a waste of money but then again, I’m not the one swiping.