To every client or creative out there tossing around a campaign idea to run on Tinder, stop thinking now. Tinder is a dating app not a social app. The expectation users have when logging on is that they will find others who are a looking for "love." So when they come across a fake profile account it feels exceptionally deceptive, and frankly invasive.
Tinder approves of these brand accounts, calling it native advertising, but that doesn't mean it's kosher. Here are a few reasons why your brand shouldn't create a Tinder account:
1. It's sneaky. Your brand is creating a fake person to troll the dating app looking for prey. In an era of brands "being genuine and transparent" to get millennials on board, why risk that? This tactic is literally doing the opposite.
2. It's not that clever. So the movie Ex Machina recently did it in a more interesting way at SXSW since the premise of the movie is about a bot. But most brands aren't bots.
3. Tinder is wrong for your brand (most likely). It still has the stigma of being the "hookup" app. Enough said.
4. You frustrate people. Tricking someone into a conversation does not equal a real engagement with that person. Although Ex Machina's campaign was clever, it actual left people feeling duped.
5. It's all about the company you want to keep. "Dating" brands will most likely end up creating profiles on Tinder. It may be the perfect environment for them. Just make sure that's the environment you want your brand to live in.
One caveat to this argument is that you could use Tinder in a transparent way. Don't sign your brand up online, but do something with the app offline. The Brooklyn Nets did a great job of connecting people at one of their basketball games by setting up a Tinder lounge. Sure, it was a marketing tactic to lure people into the stadium, but hey, they came up with a clever way of using the app that was a bit less obvious than joining the platform.
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