How Dating Apps Brought New Ways to Find Love in the Age of Social Distancing, Marketing & Advertising News, AND BrandEquity

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Dating and social distancing hardly go hand in hand, even if they are sanitized. But it will take more than a pandemic to stop romantics from trying to find love. Instead, they are changing the rules of the game.

Taru Kapoor, Managing Director, India, Tinder and Match Group, said, “We have seen increased activity on the app during the pandemic. In fact, it has been the busiest year in the brand’s history, ushering in a whole new decade of dating.

When the pandemic was declared and the lockdown went into effect in March 2020, Tinder observed over 3 billion swipes on the app globally, OkCupid saw a 30% increase in messages sent and Shaadi.com saw a 30-45% increase in the number of people signing up. For brands, that meant one thing: Covid wasn’t ending the camaraderie. And they had to adapt, with virtual dating campaigns in mind.

D-day connections

A national survey by Bumble found that 40% of Indian singles opted for virtual dates in 2021. Samarpita Samaddar, Director of Communications, Bumble India, said: “We launched Night In – a virtual experience where two people can participate in an interactive game on a one-on-one video chat after the match in the app. “

Likewise, Tinder launched its Face-to-Face (in-app) video calls during the pandemic.

Shaadi.com went further and launched Shaadi Meet – a secure video calling platform – and Weddings From Home, which allows people to get married online. “The meeting virtually eliminates fear from the equation,” says Adhish Zaveri, senior director, marketing, Shaadi.com. “We have had couples who met during the lockdown and are now on the verge of marriage, most of their relationships being virtual. Who would have thought that we would see this in our lifetime? ” he adds.

Able Joseph, founder of Aisle, which added two million users in 2020, also amplified virtual connections by launching “Rooms”. “This feature allows individuals to host a virtual ‘room’ and start an audio chat with any other interested user for five minutes, after which the host can choose to match or pass,” he says.

Even offline brands have had to reposition themselves. Vishal Vyas, a member of the Condom Alliance and deputy vice president, marketing of TTK Healthcare Limited, says brands have become accustomed to providing information so that unnecessary fears can be alleviated. “Skore started the ‘Unhide’ campaign, which highlighted how you can meet new people while taking precautions. This was supported by the launch of the Skore Protection Kit, which is a combo pack of condoms and masks. “

Deeper connections

Surprisingly, these virtual dates and meetings led to more intentional encounters. Nikita Ghogale, Marketing Manager at Vows for Eternity, says: “Conversations have moved online and while everyone was skeptical at first, we found that the online space leads to more meaningful conversations. The comfort of their own environment gives members the opportunity to open up and be less judgmental at the start of a potential new relationship.

“People use video dating to get to know each other before they meet in person. This kind of “slow dating” advances conversations that may have taken place over two or three dates, ”adds Samaddar.

Brands say skipping the dinner-movie combo for an online date means conversations have become longer, deeper, and more emphasis on compatibility. “We saw 19% more messages sent per day in February 2021, compared to February 2020, conversations were 32% longer during the pandemic and we saw 11% more scans and 42% more matches in more per Tinder member, ”Kapoor said.

Call for vaccination

Brands have also made a point of encouraging and amplifying the details of their users’ vaccination and to say that it is at the heart of some of the new campaigns they have launched. “We have seen a 763% increase in mentions of the vaccine on OkCupid India bios since March 2021,” said Sitara Menon, Senior Director of Marketing, OkCupid India. “To make it easier for our users to find a potential match, we have introduced the ‘I’m vaccinated’ badge and stack to help people make informed decisions. “

Bumble is also pushing for informed decisions with the launch of their feature – Covid Preferences. “It gives our community a wide choice of choices to show exactly how they want to date during this time. [virtual, socially-distanced with masks, and so on], and what precautions they want to take for virtual or IRL dates, ”says Samaddar.

Creative crunch

The primary communication on online dating and dating sites has always been about “meeting” the right person. But in a world where “dating” itself needs to be redefined, brands have had to look for new ways to keep people interested. Dheeraj Sinha, CEO and Chief Strategy Officer Leo Burnett, South Asia, said that as more Indians get vaccinated, fear and apprehensions of meeting new people will subside. “The excitement and the freedom to meet new people will be a cultural fuel that brands will need to tap into,” he says.


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