Whether you’re spending this Valentine’s Day alone with take-out and the latest romantic comedy, or you’re wining and dining your sweetheart with every holiday cliché you can get your hands on, chances are, you’ve heard of Tinder. And, with an estimated 50 million active users, you’ve probably done a little swiping yourself!


Dating in the Tinder World

Many people who have heard of the service often asks how does tinder work? For those of you who aren’t familiar with the hyperlocal platform, Tinder works by matching eligible (and, let’s face it, not-so-eligible) bachelors and bachelorettes who share a mutual attraction. In a nutshell, the app works its magic by sending alerts when another user joins the site who falls within your desired location, age range, and gender. If you like the looks of that person, swipe right across their profile. If you’re not interested, swipe left and you’ll never see them as a potential match again. If both parties swipe right, it’s a match! The two of you can now chat privately via Tinder’s messaging platform. From there, the rest is up to you.

Advertising on Tinder: Mobile Marketing’s Sweet Spot

The reality is, since the app’s launch in 2012, Tinder has taken the digital dating world by storm, and with such a booming presence, digital marketers can’t help but notice the endless advertising and mobile marketing potential. In fact, some of today’s most popular brands have taken to Tinder to launch their most successful ad campaigns. It’s only been a few years, but there’s been no shortage of successful and creative campaigns. In honor of Valentine’s Day, let’s talk about the nine hottest Tinder ad campaigns and the brands behind them.

1) Bud Light

Swipe right for Bud Light! In 2014, the beer guru’s “Whatever USA” contest campaign exploded on Tinder. The campaign invited users to enter a contest to win a trip to Whatever, USA (later announced as Crested Butte, Colorado) to partake in a complete town takeover, and of course, party with the Bud Light crew.

“Tinder is the perfect partner for Bud Light in our search for Whatever, USA citizens,” said Alexander Lambrecht, vice president of Bud Light. “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.”


With approximately 26 million matches made every day across the globe, and 9 billion matches made since the app’s launch, Bud Light’s integrated ad campaign effortlessly connects with the Up for Whatever campaign’s target audience. For Bud Light, Tinder was love at first sight.

However, it should be noted that Bud Light’s Up for Whatever campaign did catch some heat on Twitter in 2015, and since then the campaign has been on hiatus.

2) NYC Puppy Rescue Project

Who says Tinder is just for humans? The team of interns at The NYC Puppy Project paired with the Social Tees Animal Rescue to find a new way to use the app – to match ten abandoned and adoptable puppies with their future best friends.


Come across a pooch that is just too cute to pass by? Simply swipe right and you’ll be on your way to setting up your first play date. In less than a week, the ten eligible puppies got over 2,700 matches! How’s that for puppy love?

3) Domino’s

In keeping with the Valentine’s Day spirit, this brilliant Tinder ad campaign by Domino’s is perfect. The pizza company used the app to promote their own Valentine’s Day campaign, offering Tinder users the opportunity to swipe right for delicious deals, and most importantly a hot date with a free pizza.


Promoted across all of Domino’s online platforms, the campaign managed to reach more than 230,000 users. Free food is always a good go-to for promotions, but the campaign’s overall effectiveness can be attributed to the relevance and relativity. If you’re going to stay in on Valentine’s Day, why not enjoy a free pizza while you’re at it?

4) 20th Century Fox

To promote the new Melissa McCarthy blockbuster, ‘Spy,’ 20th Century Fox took to Tinder. The campaign provided users in 50 different major markets with a sneak peak of the film. “Giving Tinder users the chance to see ‘Spy’ early is a great way for us to spread word of mouth and a great way to provide Tinder users with a fun and memorable first date experience,” said Marc Weinstock, president of domestic marketing at 20th Century Fox.


Also as part of the campaign, users were able to swipe through the movie’s cast. A swipe right earned them the chance to attend a special screening of the movie. Since many Tinder meetups involve typical first date scenarios (looking at you, dinner and a movie!), promoting an upcoming film is a great tie-in to the app and the user’s interests.

5) Ex Machina

While we’re on the subject of film promotions, let’s talk about the extraordinarily popular Ex Machina Tinder campaign, or as many call it, a “stunt.” The film’s marketing team developed a fake Tinder profile at SXSW 2015 to promote awareness of the upcoming sci-fi flick.

Tinder users attending the festival were matched with “Ava,” a beautiful 25-year old woman with a deep, dark secret: she’s not human. In the movie and on Tinder, Ava plays the role of half-human, half-droid – asking her matches deeply personal questions, such as “what makes you human?” and “Have you ever been in love?”


After talking to her mates, Ava’s potential love interests were directed to her Instagram page, where a bio of the film was featured. Thinking about engaging in this type of ad campaign? Be careful. No doubt, this risky campaign caused a bit of heartbreak, and some users were left feeling deceived. A campaign like this should only be executed in a controlled setting.

6) The Atlanta Hawks

In an effort to create an unforgettable experience for basketball fans, the Atlanta Hawks hosted a “Swipe Right Night.” The event served as an opportunity for fans to win VIP access to their special “Love Lounges,” complete with champagne, roses, and of course, other Tinder users – including Atlanta’s most eligible singles, as deemed so by Jezebel Magazine.


7) The Mindy Project

Living the single life is a common theme in The Mindy Project, so who better than to engage in a little Tinder promotion than Mindy herself? Partnering with Fox Entertainment, Tinder presented characters from The Mindy Project – specifically main characters, Mindy and Danny. Users who swiped right on any of the character profiles from The Mindy Project were sent a private message with exclusive details about the next episode.


8) Gillette

Slightly different than the other Tinder ad campaigns mentioned above, the partnership between Gillette and Tinder was made in the name of market research. Gillette worked a deal with Tinder to conduct research on 100,000 dating profiles to determine what women preferred regarding facial hair.

The big question? Are men with facial hair seen as more attractive than clean-shaven men? The results are in – check out the video below to see what the ladies prefer.

9) Amnesty International Australia

While all of the Tinder ad campaigns we’ve discussed today have a fun and flirty undertone, not all campaigns follow this theme. Amnesty International Australia used Tinder as a resource to raise much-needed awareness about forced marriage. The campaign, timed flawlessly, launched on International Women’s Day, and as was targeted directly to women using the social platform.


Amnesty International’s own Caroline Easton described the campaign stating it, “…was centered around International Women’s Day with the Tinder images that Amnesty posted driving traffic to the Make a choice website. Here, we ran a quiz in which users were asked to make choices like marry for money or marry for love. A click on money revealed a new page that explained that in rural Pakistan many girls are sold into forced marriage. Data, including email addresses was captured on the site, and interested visitors were contacted to see if they would like to support Amnesty’s human rights work.”

Final Thoughts

Not all brands are cut out to advertise on every channel; a precise fit is key. For some brands, Tinder might not be as great of a match as, let’s say, a text message marketing campaign or promoted social media content. Tinder ad campaigns are most effective when promoted across all of your social channels, and they’re a great way to reach a niche audience, gain insight about your audience, and even promote awareness for a cause or event. Remember, it’s important to go where your consumers go. After all, if you don’t find them, your competitors will.












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