nss G-Club Love Match

Browse all

'Single to live life to the fullest'

An analysis of Tinder's latest ad campaign #singlenotsorry

'Single to live life to the fullest' An analysis of Tinder's latest ad campaign #singlenotsorry

Born in 2012, Tinder is currently the most famous dating app in the world, the only one able to put “together over 26 million compatibilities per day" (take that, Cupid). Maybe because of the upcoming launch of Facebook Dating (in 2020), Tinder wanted to mark its territory and has covered Milan with billboards depicting bold statements like I'm single to live life to the fullest. A provocative and pretty questionable message that sparked many doubtful glances from passers-by. 

But why should a dating app celebrate individuality and being single? I asked it to someone that definitely knows a lot about the subject, so much to write a book about it. Marvi Santamaria - @matchandthecity, with 413 Tinder matches has a pretty solid track record and is a true expert who took part in important events and initiatives throughout the country.

Tinder's #singlenotsorry campaign is the brand's first true global campaign and aims to leverage the negative judgment of being single, seen not as a choice, but as a "loser" status. From my experience, I feel that this prejudice is still alive in Italy. If you're over 30 and still single (like myself), it probably happened that a relative asked you "And what about your boyfriend?" (or even worse: "when are you going to find someone and get married?"). I saw a campaign’s preview in Berlin this summer and I remember saying to myself "This will never make it to Italy!". I was very impressed when I saw the posters all over Milan’s subway. I discovered that this call was the result of a secondary decision: in the wake of the great US success, the Berlin agency Kemmler Kemmler has been told to take care of an extension of the campaign in Europe, first in London, Berlin and Paris and now in Italy, Spain, Denmark and Sweden. Clearly, the Italian market is a fertile one for Tinder, as the app is among the top 3 most used dating apps in our country, competing with Badoo and Meetic (source: Altroconsumo survey October 2019). 

Tinder perfectly knows that the app is perceived as a means to get down to "easy" sex, but in reality the brand has never made this positioning. When I started my community in 2017, I checked Tinder's social channels and I was very impressed that their posts did not explicitly talk about the sexual purpose of the newborn connections, but more of a generic "meet people". A bit disappointing. Even in this current campaign, my perception is that sex is not explicitly represented, the focus is on having fun with friends, staying out til late and going to parties. It would have been nice to see the creative subjects in the different countries and understand how the concept has been reinterpreted according to the country cultural habits (for example in the German ad I see a kiss.) 

Apart from the first impression and the risk of falling into stereotypes - such as the idea that singles are the only ones having fun and that couples live in boredom - these advertisements aim to differentiate Tinder from all competitors. It builds an anti-narrative compared to other dating apps or platforms, which mostly promise us to find perfect lifetime partners. Tinder, on the other hand, acts as an enabler to have fun as a single, along with other singles, and celebrates the "Single Pride". A campaign focused on what other apps have always avoided: to stay deliberately single.

This rebranding operation is reportedly working. Over the last year, Tinder has registered 1.2 million new subscribers, many of whom are even willing to pay to access additional features (such as seeing who has liked their profile, just to continue the voyeuristic trend that we like so much on Instagram). 

Many rivals over the years have tried to take away Tinder’s primacy among the digital lonely hearts: Happn, Once, Bumble, just to name a few. And we all remember the immortal Badoo already mentioned, Tinder's oldest and slimiest cousin. Almost every day new dating apps are created, specifically for this or that interest of their target users: museum lovers, nondrinkers, gym fanatics, dog owners, fancy members-only. There's even one for celebrities where you could meet Ben Affleck. The Internet has gifted us with countless articles, tips, stories and anecdotes about the magical world of digital "pick up". The Instagram account @tindernightmares, for example, is a compilation of the worst texts ever and boasts 2.1 million followers. Numbers that make our wanna be lifestyle influencers pale. 

The world of online sex & dating fascinates young and old people, it’s a light that never goes out. Once again the internet and technology changed our lives, indeed, in its most important part: intimacy and personal relationships. Perhaps this is not totally true in Italy, but in the United States, for example, these statements are as true as ever. Dating apps are a real obsession, able to trigger passionate debates on the national press. 

Italy seems to resist thanks to a good dose of scepticism, entrusting Maria De Filippi with the hope to find the perfect combo: popularity & a soulmate. Who uses dating apps is a loser, someone unable to pick up in real life, face to face, even after the 3rd gin&tonic. Someone with some issues, aesthetic or personal ones. Shady individuals and guys already in a relationship, with no time to lose (in fact, only 54% of users are single, according to the latest statistics). All the couples I know who met on a dating app - because yes, it happens and also more often than you think - are ashamed to tell where and how they met. So not even the users themselves are willing to admit that they use these apps, preferring to hide this social stigma. As if shyness, curiosity, the desire to have fun, the desire for adventure and the many other reasons that can convince us to push ‘download’, are not enough. 

Tinder's forefather, Grindr, was born among the LGBT community in the early 2000s to offer a solution to a serious and disabling problem: discrimination and the difficulty of meeting people with the same sexual orientation. Yet, we continue to think that there is something going on, a "deviation" or a "self-ghettoization", while on the other hand, it is perfectly ok to watch all the IG stories of that friend of a friend you like or give strategic ‘hearts’ to the person you see every now and then at parties. There's always a screen, a telephone and some pictures in between. So here's what Tinder does to overturn old stereotypes and changing our point of view: it says out loud that there's nothing wrong with being single. You don't have to find your soulmate, inside or outside the net. Living life to the maximum also translates into having experiences and having fun, relieving some of the social pressure that strangles women in particular, especially after the dirty 30.