Ubaid Zargar

We’re aiming to disrupt the idea of casual dating: Aisle’s Nabila Tazyeen

Aisle’s head of content and communication talks to afaqs! about the state of online dating in India, the launch of Gen Z dating app Jalebi, and more.

Last month, House of Aisle launched a dating app, called Jalebi. It has been exclusively designed for Gen Z who, according to the platform, are tired of frivolous casual dating and want to engage in something more substantial. 

Jalebi is the newest addition to Aisle’s inventory of dating avenues. The brand has launched numerous vernacular dating platforms, including Arike for Malayalis, Anbe for Tamilians, Neetho for Telugu users, among others. 

In a bid to promote Jalebi, Aisle has launched a campaign, titled ‘Love, Care, Repeat’. The campaign exudes a perspective of intelligent dating for Gen Z, aiming to incite a sense of self-care and mindfulness in online romantic pursuits. 

In a conversation with afaqs!, Nabila Tazyeen, head of content and communication, Aisle, talks about this campaign, the inception and philosophy of Jalebi, and the state of online dating in India.

Edited excerpts:

What was the insight behind the latest campaign?

When Jalebi came into play, we did a fair amount of primary and secondary research to understand our target audience. One of the themes that became prevalent during the conversation, was how focused Gen Z is on self-care, and how big a role mental wellbeing and self-sufficiency play in their daily life. We wanted to bring these virtues into the world of dating. 

What prompted the platform to introduce Jalebi for Gen Z? Why did you choose Gen Z as your target group?

While Aisle has been all about people aged 25 or upwards, we’ve increasingly seen the younger generation talk about how they’re done with casual dating, and how hookups don’t appeal to them. So, the proposition was to offer exactly what Aisle offers, but to a generation that is more reciprocative to it, and in a form that they would be open to. This is why we looked at intelligent dating as a concept for Gen Z, in a way extending what we offer through Aisle. 

This age group is fairly empowered. They’ve got the right kind of exposure to things that are more global or trending. The message of self-sufficiency and mental wellbeing resonates well with Gen Z, which is what the core philosophy of Jalebi is. 

That said, while Jalebi is focussed on Gen Z, it is still open to anybody who is interested in intelligent dating in this day and age, away from casual dating and hookups.

What is the campaign’s media mix?

The campaign will see quite a bit of digital push. Jalebi is still in its infancy. So, we’re looking at a broader marketing plan. Depending on how the campaign is received, we’ll start zoning in on specific marketing mix. 

How does Aisle plan to market Jalebi?

We will continue to create campaigns that are real, authentic and resonate with our target audiences in a way that is relevant. We’re aiming to position Jalebi as an antidote to all the problems youngsters may encounter when they’re dating online. We’re evaluating how our campaigns will be received by the audiences and, from there, we’ll start working on our next mix. 

How does Jalebi stand out from its competitors?

Other apps are more focussed on user attention or gamification of online dating, with the whole swiping culture. Jalebi focusses more on intelligent dating, where our members ultimately find a meaningful relationship. 

Some of the features on the platform are deliberately put out there to counter the features available or unavailable on the other platform. For instance, profiles on Jalebi are 100% selfie-verified. This eliminates the possibility of getting catfished. 

Jalebi’s profile design lays more emphasis on the personalities of users, instead of pictures. You’re dating smart, so brains matter more than looks. 

How has Aisle evolved, over the years, in India’s dating scene?

Aisle was launched at a time when casual dating had already seeded itself in the market. It had changed how Indians looked at dating. In some ways, it brought about a lot of broad-mindedness amongst the people. But in many ways, the idea was detrimental, with concepts of ghosting and hookups gaining traction. 

Aisle brought disruption of sorts in the game, by reintroducing the idea of meaningful dating, and pushing a level of seriousness in the process.

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