Dating app ‘Tinder’ is the new kid on the Not for Profit marketing block with Amnesty International using it to promote gender equality and the Immigration Council of Ireland launching a new campaign to raise awareness of human trafficking. These campaigns have us talking but are their achieving their goals?

Never heard of Tinder? The mobile dating app allows users to engage each other when two users have ‘swiped right’, meaning both parties have liked each others profile pages.

Although it might be an unlikely match, this month the Immigration Council of Ireland launched a campaign on Tinder to raise awareness of human trafficking. Female model, ‘Ana’, appears at first to be a seemingly typical match. However as users scroll through the pictures, Ana morphs from an appealing date into a victim of trafficking. The final picture is a call to action to end trafficking.

Mixed reactions

This campaign drew global attention, however there have been mixed reactions to the approach. Some users were confused, thinking that the campaign was suggesting human trafficking was happening on Tinder. Others complimented the campaign as this was the first time they’d found out about trafficking – the goal of the campaign.

Measuring success

At face value, the campaign is an innovative idea – but it’s unclear whether it achieved its goals. Currently, no numbers have been released on how many people have interacted with the profile, spoken about the campaign, or made any action as a result (like donations).

At a glance, eightytwenty (the agency behind the campaign) did a few things right. They achieved global recognition: before this campaign, the Immigration Council of Ireland was relatively unknown. Also, as it’s free to set up a Tinder profile and there was no investment in social advertising, the campaign was very low cost.

Lastly, the campaign appears to be relatively impactful. One of its main goals was to raise awareness about the fact that human trafficking is still very much a reality in Ireland, and many of those targeted reported that it was the first time they’d been made aware of the issue.

However, the campaign was not without downsides. More directed creative may have helped to avoid misinterpretation and clearly express the message of the campaign, while the lack of a recognisable call-to-action prevented the audience from effectively interacting with the campaign. Without a clear path to action, those who saw the campaign were likely to not have been converted to donors.

Is this the next ‘big thing’ in digital marketing?

One thing is for sure: this approach probably isn’t for everyone. It is, however, a creative way of using unexpected social platforms as a launchpad for certain campaigns.

If you think this approach could work for your Not for Profit, there are a few important questions to ask first.

  1. Should you be using Tinder? Although it might be low-cost, if results aren’t guaranteed, it may end up being a waste of already-scarce resources.
  2. Is there a clear message? Don’t fall into the same trap as eightytwenty: form a clear, rather than ambiguous message.
  3. Will there be a healthy ROI? All campaigns must be measurable in some way, and not having a clickable link in this campaign would certainly have hindered its performance.

Although campaigns like this have both very obvious wins and pitfalls, ultimately, they are the future of digital marketing. As more and more users engage with their content on mobile apps like Tinder, marketers need to find the right platform for their brand, and methods to effectively engage with their audience once there. For some, that platform might be Facebook, and for others it might even be SnapChat’s SnapCash

The ultimate lesson here? Think outside the box, but do it with careful deliberation.

Read this article at ProBono Australia.