Brands using Tinder? A marketing platform one step too far for consumers


As brands such as Budweiser and Fox try to get seen in new places, online dating platforms are the latest to try monetising their reach – but it’s not an easy match: even the industry trade associations are warning on the risks of letting your latest campaign interrupt people looking for dates.

Even as major brands try out native ads on dating application Tinder, marketers are advising caution to avoid making consumers feel duped.

In a setting as personal as Tinder, brands must question how they are adding value while respecting the platform's context.

Earlier this month Bud Light rolled out the first paid for video ad on Tinder, as part of its "Whatever USA" campaign.

Other brands have flirted with Tinder in the past, including Fox and Gillette, as well as a bot named Ava promoting the sci-fi film "Ex Machina."

The "#upforwhatever" campaign gives over 21 year-olds the chance to enter a contest for a trip to a huge party Bud Light is throwing in a yet-to-be-named town at the end of May. Or, as Bud Light describes it, a party in "Whatever, USA."

Tinder users will see the video advertising once they're around four or five swipes into the app. They can play or pause the custom videos, which will vary in length throughout the course of the advertising campaign.

"Tinder is the perfect partner for Bud Light in our search for Whatever, USA citizens. Bud Light is excited to see how they can bring the fun, social spirit of the app to the only place where unexpected fun is waiting behind every corner, Whatever, USA," said Alexander Lambrecht, Bud Light vice president.

A brand match made in heaven?

But do users want brands taking over their dating app, or should it be only for actual people? People use Tinder to get a date, not really to find the latest product from their best loved brands, so the whole concept of the app is blurred.

Another question is whether a brand should use Tinder or just stick to other networks like the big three (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram).

Speaking to TechCrunch, Brian Norgard, Tinder's vice president of advertising, said: "If you think about the way Tinder works, with 'like' and 'pass', we have a really amazing signal for advertisers. We're being careful to respect our core experience for our users, which ensures that we can give that data back to our brands in a really valuable way. The response so far has been off the charts. You won't believe how many people will swipe right if the content is high quality."

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