Users of dating app Happn received a surprise yesterday thanks to global children’s charity Plan, which staged a takeover of the platform to raise awareness of child marriage as part of its 'A Date You Can't Refuse' campaign.
The platform, which usually gives singletons the ability to connect with over 400,000 users, instead presented individuals with only one dating choice throughout London to highlight the fact that while most girls in the UK get to choose if, who and when they marry, millions young women around the world have that choice taken away from them.
Londoners who connected with Plan’s stunt profile, featuring a fictional man called Mark, were shown the message: “When we’re free to date whoever we like, it’s hard to imagine only having one option. So whether you like Mark or not, he’s sticking around.”
The stunt was devised by JWT London following research which showed that child marriage currently affects 15 million girls globally every year.
Will Brookwell and Will Helm, creatives at J. Walter Thompson London, said: “The more we read about the issue the more we wanted to find a way to reach others.
"We realised that the best way to talk to people about lack of choice would be in the place where they have the most freedom, modern dating apps," he added.
Marie Cosnard, head of trends at Happn, said: “We’re proud to offer our users choice – the choice to rediscover people they’ve passed in the street or in their favourite coffee shop, the choice to date if they connect with someone, or the choice to say no and meet someone else and we believe everyone should have that right.”