With the steady rise of online dating in the last few years the original player, Match.com (founded in 1995), has had to find new ways to stand out and put usurpers to its crown in their place.
From a marketing point of view they came out fighting, with a series of human, engaging and well-thought-out campaigns that really connect with people.
Telling an endearing tale
One of the key factors in Match.com's success is their winsome and delightful use of storytelling. Marketers quite often face the challenge of effective and engaging storytelling and how to translate this to customers.
Since 2010 Match.com have given us campaigns such as 'girl on the platform smiled at me' and of course the similarly charming 'I like old movies' - both notable for their well-told stories, but also their shrewd use of music, which we'll come to shortly.
In a crowded market, the ability to stand out is vital. TV adverts often bombard us with images, voiceovers, offers, deals and more. Dating adverts have been guilty of this too, demanding our attention in increasingly overwhelming fashion. In some ways it puts you in mind of the original Batman TV series: SUBSCRIBE! DATE! FIND YOUR PERFECT PARTNER! BOOM! ZAP! POW!
Match.com beautifully stood out by going the other way and keeping it simple. Less, in dating as in life, is always more. Their adverts play out like short films, with a clear beginning, middle and end. The story is primarily told through pictures and music rather than words - evoking a much more emotive response.
This use of music to create more compelling tales (and dating success stories) can be seen throughout their campaigns. The natural progression of which has led to their latest venture, a partnership with the hip, happening and ever-growing online music service Spotify: where they've surveyed singles to create an album of pre-date music (which you can purchase on Spotify of course).
So, for any marketers out there looking for ways to tell stories and keep it simple, start with Match.com. And if that doesn't fill you with inspiration you can always sign up and go on a date.