- Match Group’s Tinder dating app has enlisted ‘Mean Girls’ actor Jonathan Bennett for a new marketing campaign to raise awareness about toxic behavior and online financial scams, according to details shared with Marketing Dive.
- The effort was timed around Oct. 3, which is World Romance Scam Prevention Day. However, many also associate the day with the iconic “What day is it” line from “Mean Girls.” Bennett features in a 60-second campaign spot calling out the various types of people users should avoid on dating apps.
- The playful move follows a public awareness campaign from Tinder launched in January that similarly sought to help users avoid online scams. Tinder is one of the latest dating apps to tap into popular culture to market its product.
Dating apps are no stranger to capitalizing on pop culture trends to promote their features. Bumble, for instance, launched a dating app to look and behave like a fictional matchmaking platform from Ted Lasso and recently had a tie-up with the “Barbie” movie. For Tinder, aligning itself with “Mean Girls” could help the dating app strike a chord with millennial and Gen Z consumers who are fans of the movie.
For the effort, Bennett, who plays Aaron Samuels in “Mean Girls,” stars in a minute-long spot where he calls out the “mean people you should avoid online.” Included in the line-up are love bombers, money seekers and posturers, or those who act like its a privilege just to be in their company. The spot ends with a call out of World Romance Scam Prevention Day, which was created to help educate people around online scammers.
"At Tinder, we are proud to lead on safety efforts and create campaigns that are both beneficial and culturally relevant that can help drive more awareness and make dating safer on our app and across online platforms,” said Stephanie Danzi, senior vice president of global marketing at Tinder, in release details.
Tinder’s latest campaign follows a similar effort launched by Match Group in January designed to help dating app users protect themselves. Press details note that while older adults most frequently report romance scams, reports by younger adults are increasing. Additionally, 97% of scamming victims decline to report or work to find justice due to stigmas around falling for fraudulent activity, according to a statistic shared in the release by Advocating Against Romance Scammers’ executive director Kathy Waters.
Along with Tinder’s campaign, the dating app’s sister brand, Hinge, also worked to raise awareness by sending in-app messages reminding users to never send money nor take investment advice from strangers. Match Group has made additional efforts to protect dating app users, including through the introduction of features like selfie verification and pop-up messages that display safety tips.