Is Tinder advertising the future?

As brands search for new ways to stay ahead of their competitors, they're turning to different sources of advertising to increase awareness - one being Tinder, the dating app targeted primarily at millennials.

Tinder has been downloaded 100 million times and generated over 10 billion matches since its introduction in 2012, yet surprisingly, there is no official way for advertisers to tap into this huge audience. A missed opportunity, you think? You're certainly right, but they're not behind the times. The founder of Tinder told analysts that it was exploring native advertising opportunities - ways in which adverts can fit into the format of the platform instead of using banners and pop-ups, which may disrupt UX.

Although this hasn't been officially launched yet, there are some brands using the app already as a way to host competitions, promote campaigns and increase brand awareness – successfully and unsuccessfully. How? It's all through fitting into the context of the app - and asking for Tinder's permission, of course.

Tinder and pizza soothes loneliness – Dominos UK

What can ease the pain of being single on Valentine’s Day? Apparently, it’s pizza.

On February 14th 2014, fast-food chain DominosUK created a Tinder profile which allowed users to swipe right for the chance to win free pizza and discounts. Following matches, users were invited to start pun-filled conversations with the brand – to win a hot and saucy date (in the form of free food, what else?) According to Iris Worldwide, the campaign resulted in a social reach of more than 200,000 and an amazing 700 matches!

Tinder raises awareness of social issues - Immigration Council of Ireland

In 2014, the Immigration Council of Ireland launched a Tinder campaign to raise awareness of sex trafficking. It was the first Tinder campaign of its kind globally, and offered an insight into the effects of the crime on victims. For each fake profile, users of the app could swipe through imagery that reflected the impact of sex trafficking, with a final message and link to how they could help. The campaign highlighted the realities of sex trafficking, with many users expressing their shock about the truths behind the crime.

Tinder’s ever video ad - Bud Light

Another global first for the app was created by Bud Light. The beer brand made Tinder’s first ever video ad – and its first form of native advertising. Users above the age of 21 could swipe to win a weekend trip to Whatever, USA, an exclusive party packed with 1,000 chosen revelers and celebrities in a to-be-confirmed location. The video ad was created with the platform in mind – and not like a TV advertisement, according to Hugh Cullman, director of marketing for Bud Light. Those who matched would be redirected to the brand’s competition page with the opportunity to enter.

Tinder meets politics – EU referendum

With young people less likely to vote in the EU referendum and 85% of Tinder users aged between 18-34, it comes as no surprise that the platform has been used to encourage an increase in registration. As part of the campaign, users were faced with statements about Britain’s relationship with the EU, where they could swipe true or false. After a few rounds, users were given a score with a link to register.

How not to advertise on Tinder - Gap

To promote 30% discount on jeans, Gap launched their online Tinder campaign #SpringIsWeird, inviting users to a ‘pants party’ through a carousel of images. After a weekend, the ad was taken down for violating the app’s terms of service; Tinder has previously partnered with brands, but Gap didn’t have permission to run the ad.

The success of Tinder advertising acquits to its audience; a majority of users are under 25-years-old, making it the perfect platform to target young people. Therefore, successful native advertisements should be striking (due to the fleeting nature of users) and of interest to this demographic.

With the Tinder brand strengthening and companies already noticing the opportunities available, we can expect more ads on the popular dating app in the future - but not to worry, you’ll still be able to search for love interests just a few miles away -  although I think I’d prefer the free pizza.