The Rebirth of OkCupid
In early January, the well-known and widely used dating platform OkCupid launched an ad campaign framed around a spin-off of the millennial term, “DTF” which is short for “down to f*ck”.
Though this campaign was praised by advertising publications such as AdWeek for its innovation and creativity by way of big-time digital advertising agency, Wieden+Kennedy, it has also received its share of backlash.
The campaign caused a stir of mixed reactions from the public. One of which resulted in the creation of a CitizenGo petition on February 12th stating, “OkCupid’s “DTF” advertising campaign promotes lesbian sex, prostitution, drug use, and promiscuity, and it will be viewed by millions, including children, in public spaces.”
In only a few weeks time, the campaign is nearing its goal of 5,000 signatures which calls for these ads to be removed.
The question is, what will happen when these ads are removed? Will OkCupid fight back? Will the dust just settle and people will continue on with their lives? Will there be a drop in OkCupid users or will there be a rise?
As for whether or not OkCupid will fight back, we shall see. But in terms of the rise or fall in users…Well, all of that depends on which side of the [political] tracks you sit on.
From a Millennial perspective, OkCupid has its veteran status in the lifespan of online dating platforms. Other competitors, such as Tinder, Bumble, Coffee Meets Bagel, etc., have stepped forward to gain their rise in the ranks, but at the end of the day, do users really care about the kind of political statements these apps are making?
My answer is yes.
Political beliefs tie into various other beliefs that we hold onto such as our views on gender equality, marriage equality, religion and so on. In terms of dating and relationships, many of us often place very high emphasis of the alignment of these views. And these beliefs can and will ultimately sway you towards using one dating app over another if there is any connection towards the types of people who are using them.
OkCupid’s advertising campaign aims to enlighten users that its services are for more than just a one-time fling. Furthermore, its use of imagery and copy also suggests that it is a place where you are safe to be who you are and are able to find someone who feels the same way.
However, the question of diversity among dating apps has been amidst the public eye for quite some time. Many past studies have yielded results showing that factors including race play a huge role in the success of an individual’s presence on certain dating apps. However, with the current advertising campaign, OkCupid is arguing otherwise. So, the new question is: Is this the rebirth of OkCupid? Is this their comeback story or their failure to change society’s image of online dating? To be honest, only time will tell. But this new creative strategy is a glimmer of hope that the tide will change soon.
In this day and age, the fact that we can choose partners specifically based on the criteria of politics says one of two things: We as a society are extremely divided or we have a lot more in common than we think. As the saying goes, “United, we stand or divided, we fall”