Brilliant Tinder Trick at SXSW – A Great Idea That May Pave The Way For MoreIn Film, Marketing
With the wild popularity of Tinder, brands have been scrambling to try to figure out how a platform like this could,be leveraged to extend brand equity….well, the film Ex Machina premiering at South By South West has done just that brilliantly. I imagine the floodgates are going to open with copycats..just wait.
So what was their brilliant move?
Users of the popular dating app Tinder found this profile of a sweet looking girl attending SXSW, but when they chatted with her, they found that her profile wasn’t exactly what they were expecting.
When Brock, a Tinder user, contacted her, the following conversation ensued.
(Credit to Adweek for breaking this)
Unfortunately, for Brock, the profile wasn’t a real profile at all, which became apparent when he visited the Instagram account and was met with an ad for the film Ex Machina and it’s premiere time at SXSW.
The girl in the image is actually actress Alicia Vikander, who plays Ava in the film.
What they did right:
This is a brilliant way to use a new popular social media app to promote something in a highly targeted market.
They were able to reach an audience in a unique way without spe,ding a ton of money on advertising, and they gained a lit of attention for ‘hacking’ the purpose of Tinder. Its a fantastic stunt.
What’s wrong with this tactic, you just said it was brilliant?
This is a brilliant stunt, there’s no doubt about that, and being a film producer and a marketing strategist, I’m in love with the concept through and through, but if I was the Tinder user who just had this conversation, I would feel duped and probably be a little upset that I just wasted the time and energy to type real responses to a computer,only to be directed to an ad. If this was me, and I wasn’t an advertising nerd and indie film producer, I would be even less likely to go see the movie than before I engaged with the profile.
“Screw them,” that would be my thought, and it was probably every other Tinder users thought after having had a “conversation” with this profile.
Even though this is a genius stunt, it goes against everything that today’s users have come to expect. Namely….TRANSPARENCY. Granted, it is a stunt, and generally that requires a certain amount of opacity to work, but the promo uses interruption and trickery to dupe the user into viewing the ad with the hope that they will be so interested in the movie that they will forgive and forget the trickery. I doubt it.
To quote a Facebook Executive speaking at the OTA sessions in Sioux Falls, SD, “They are using old methods with new technologies.”
In this case, they are the first to do something like this, and it was done in an interesting way. This is awesome, and the stunt got attention, but was it effective? Probably not as much as it could have been…
What could they have done differently?
You probably guessed it already. Be TRANSPARENT.
Transparency is everything today and advertisers need to get on board. Previous generations of advertisers lied, cajoled and tricked audiences for so long that we are now among the most despised group of individuals in the world.
If the advertisers would have made it more clear that the profile was a film character, this could have been a lot of fun.
Perhaps they could have included verbiage in the profile that alluded to the fact that you were contacting Ava with details from the film and maybe a link. Or promoted the profile elsewhere as a fun way to connect with the films character. This may have led to more engagement without the risk of hard feelings, these tactics may not have made the advertising world spin heads and pay attention.
While I can’t predict the future I will give props to this team for paving the way to a new way to think about the popular social platforms that aren’t as easy to buy ads against as Facebook is. I Imagine we’ll see a bunch of copycats hoping to cash in on the novelty of this, but as is always the case with these things, it will pave the way for some great moments and hopefully, if it’s done right, some fantastic interactive storytelling with a brand. The Possibilities are endless.
What do you think? Was this brilliant or annoying? How would you have reacted?
Share in the comments, I’d love to hear your thoughts!
PS. If you liked the post, will you do me a favor and hit the share on Facebook or share on Twitter buttons. It to take just a few seconds and,can seriously help out.