- Dating app Hinge rolled out its first international brand campaign, amplifying the company's mission to help users fall in love and then delete the app for good, per details shared with Marketing Dive. Agency Red Antler is behind the effort spanning digital and out-of-home (OOH) channels.
- The campaign stars Hingie, a stuffed Hinge icon that playfully sits in the background of dates that people fall in love on. The result of successful dates that lead to the app being deleted is his cartoonish demise.
- "Fall for each other. We'll take the hit," reads one spot in which the couple is so in love that they fail to notice Hingie being hit by a falling air conditioner behind them. The creative will run as print ads in New York City subway stations, with videos served on streaming platforms including Hulu.
For its first international branding effort, Hinge is leaning into dark humor that emphasizes its positioning as an app that's intended to be deleted. The brand is trying to differentiate from hook-up apps that are popular with consumer sets like millennials, but less focused on fostering long-term relationships.
While its campaign is running in a number of markets, Hinge leaning into OOH advertising in areas like New York City is unsurprising. Digital brands have led a resurgence in OOH efforts on subway trains, billboards and elsewhere in a bid to cater to high-spending, hip urban millennial crowds. Bumble, a rival to Hinge that's positioned as female-first, has also recently pushed hard on OOH advertising in New York, which is one of its most active market.
The edgier, ironic messaging of Hinge's creative, including through a mascot who repeatedly meets brutal deaths, fits in with an approach that many digital and direct-to-consumer brands have adopted to target the types of consumers who are growing more averse to traditional advertising.
Hinge, which launched in 2012, could still face some challenges as it tries to set itself apart from the dating app pack. More than half of surveyed 18- to 24-year-olds see dating sites and apps as platforms for casual hookups, according to data from Survey Monkey. Older adults are more likely to use these apps to develop short and long-term relationships, but Hinge likely wants to court millennial and older Gen Z consumers who are savvy with digital and mobile channels.
Regardless of what they are looking for, adults of all ages have a negative connotation of dating apps, per Survey Monkey, despite the fact that a growing number of people are currently using or have used them. The Survey Money research revealed that 56% of adults view dating apps and services as either somewhat or very negative across age and gender lines.