Aishwarya Ramesh and Abid Hussain Barlaskar

Is OkCupid’s new ad taking a swipe at Tinder?

In its first ever TVC, OkCupid focuses on authentic relationships.

While planning its first ever 360-degree brand campaign in India, international dating app OkCupid has attempted to understand what Indian millennials really want from life and relationships.

The company gathered responses from users aged between 25 and 35, to questions on the app that help OkCupid’s algorithm suggest compatible matches. The data found that expectations within this group regarding an ideal partner are evolving fast, as are social and cultural expectations. Instead of being told what to do, or having other people choose for them, young single Indians want to make their own choices based on the connection they share with a person. They are in no hurry to ‘settle down’ or ‘compromise’ until they feel comfortable with their choice.

Taking insights from the data gathered, OkCupid has launched its first brand campaign in India including its first TVC, ‘Find My Kind’. The campaign builds on the insight that people of this generation want a meaningful relationship with a like-minded partner to celebrate and share their values, beliefs and quirks. What caught our attention about the TVC is that the brand is positioning itself very clearly as an alternative that can help a user find a serious relationship. While Tinder’s stance is a carefree one, OkCupid actually gets down to brass tacks and addresses users who are looking for authentic relationships and real bonds, on their own terms.

The campaign is OkCupid’s first TVC in India, directed by ‘Bob’ (Shashank Chaturvedi) and is produced by Good Morning Films. Vasudha Misra, Executive Creative Director, BBH India, the agency responsible for the campaign says "Relationships today seem to be either fluid in a let's-not-define-things kind of way, or it becomes a let's-get-married scenario. The in-betweeners seem to be left to their own devices (sorry for the pun). Enter OkCupid. A place for people to find that person to share something that's more meaningful. A place for people who know themselves and know what they are looking for in a partner. The idea celebrates these people who aren't letting anyone else decide for them - not parents, not society, not even their own inhibitions."

Shuti Gupta, brand manager, OkCupid India, says, “Today’s single Indian is battling “suitable” recommendations by parents, friends, extended family or matrimonial services that don’t account for personal preferences. At the other end are exploratory dating services that don’t cater to Indian millennials who want a genuine partnership based on shared personal values.”

Melissa Hobley, global CMO, OkCupid, adds, “At OkCupid, and in this campaign, we celebrate true, authentic connections based on the things that matter to you. Find My Kind, our first-ever brand campaign in India, taps into the desire of single Indians to exercise their right to choose their own partner. Considering that's one of the most significant decisions you'll ever make, we think finding someone who is YOUR kind is of utmost importance!”

The TVC covers major national channels with a focus on English entertainment and movie channels. The outdoor and print campaigns are indexed to metro cities - Delhi-NCR, Bengaluru and Mumbai with a quirky, contextual take on Indian matrimonial listings to bring focus on matching over what matters. OkCupid will also work with comedienne influencers like Urooj Ashfaq and Supriya Joshi to drive the message home through stand-up comedy performances.

Is OkCupid’s new ad taking a swipe at Tinder?
Is OkCupid’s new ad taking a swipe at Tinder?
OkCupid OOH ads

Ad Reviews

Is OkCupid’s new ad taking a swipe at Tinder?
Carlton D'Silva

We spoke to Carlton D’Silva, CEO and CCO of Hungama Digital Services to understand the ad better. He tells us that he thinks the ad will work in appealing to the TG. “The ad explains the uniqueness of this app over others, whilst telling us a story. It’s beautifully shot and well scripted,” he told us.

He points out that he knows people who have gotten married on Tinder, despite the overall general outlook that Tinder is meant for casual dating. “There are so many dating apps around and the brand needs to take a solid positioning to stand out - so it's only smart to take on this positioning to counter the biggest dating app out there. Plus, I think the app’s algorithm is different from that of Tinder and hence that too ratifies the positioning perfectly,” he states.

D’Silva believes that most dating apps are relationship building apps rather than hook-ups in India. D’Silva reminds us that what holds true in the West might not necessarily be so in India.

“I think the brand is trying to showcase the changing face of India. Whilst we still have arranged marriages, I would wager that the numbers have dropped considerably. One might say that dating apps could be a reason for this fall in numbers,” he says.

Is OkCupid’s new ad taking a swipe at Tinder?
Sita Lakshmi Narayan Swamy

Sita Lakshmi Narayanan Swamy, brand and consumer expert, points out that OkCupid’s new TVC doesn’t just stop at taking a dig at Tinder – “It’s suggesting their own brand as a viable alternative. It’s not just the communication that’s taking a dig at Tinder, they’re actually positioning their brand as an alternative to Tinder for the TG.”

We asked her why it was so important for OkCupid to emphasise on the long run. “Many people are also cynical or worried about finding people who fake it, on dating apps. This makes it beneficial for OkCupid to position itself as a brand that is in it for the long run. Today, even parents don’t force their children to get married. The difference here is that the TG gets a sense that they are in a position to choose and hence, they are in control,” she says.

Swamy makes a reference to the three crossroads that can be seen in the ads and tells us that the fact that street names read ‘friends with benefits’, ‘no labels’ and the final alternative as something real is a way for the brand to reinforce its positioning. “These are real concerns that millennials have - water conservation, being judged about their clothes, etc...I thought that was a rather interesting way of judging a person. It makes the communication very real and relatable. It’s a starkly different positioning, and millennials are very smart. I think we portray them as being a lot more frivolous, which they may not be really. If not marriage, they want relationships to be authentic, they’re looking for someone like-minded. That’s never going to go out of fashion,” she signs off.

Agency Credit

Agency - BBH India

Chief Creative Officer & Managing Partner - Russell Barrett

CEO & Managing Partner - Subhash Kamath

Managing Director - Arvind Krishnan

Head of Planning - Sanjay Sharma

Executive Creative Director - Vasudha Misra

Copy - Ttarangg Manoj, Vasudha Misra

Art - Rodrigues Robert, Aastha Gupta

Agency Producer - Reema Asrani

Business Director - Rajat Pandey

Business Partner - Sankalp Anand

Production House - Good Morning Films

Executive Producer - Vikram Kalra

Director - Shashank Chaturvedi (Bob)

Producer - Robin D'Cruz

DOP - Karthik Vijay

Actors - Gurbani Gill and Vishwas Kini (of Veere Di Wedding fame)

Have news to share? Write to us