OkCupid gives new meaning to the phrase DTF in dating app’s first-ever campaign

Image from OkCupid campaign

OkCupid wants singles to know that its users are DTF, but not in the way you might think.

The dating app is unveiling its first-ever marketing push this week with a slew of out-of-home posters and digital posts that give new meaning to the acronym. Instead of “down to fuck,” OkCupid is replacing the F with clever - and more family-friendly - terms like “fifty-five-hour binge,” “filter out the far right” and “forget our baggage.”

Launching in Portland, New York and Austin, the campaign is part of OkCupid’s effort to position the app as one that can help you find a relationship, not just a hookup.

“What OkCupid has done is essentially lean into the idea that you’re more than a picture,” said OkCupid chief marketing officer Melissa Hobley. “We’ve invested a significant amount of time and money to make the product really reflect that.”

Over the past year, OkCupid has made a number of changes to the app to help it better mirror its “more substance than selfie” mantra. Last month, it rolled out a feature called Discovery that lets users search for people via shared interests and passions.

The brand also recently announced that users will be asked to use actual names rather than goofy usernames like DaddyzPrincess29 in their profiles, a move that received swift backlash from users who prefer the anonymity that OkCupid offers. The app quickly responded to criticism by stating that users don’t need to use their “real/legal” name in their profiles, but can’t use numbers or symbols either.

As the 13-year-old dating platform aims to modernize itself to better compete with the likes of Tinder and Bumble, Hobley said launching the campaign at the start of January makes sense since there tends to be a “really big uptake in dating app behavior” in the new year.

“The time was right for OkCupid to launch a campaign because we have done so much exciting work in terms of the experience, and we want people to think about that,” she said.

Created by Wieden + Kennedy, the campaign’s imagery will appear on billboards, bus wraps, and coffee sleeves in addition to digital and social. The photography for the campaign was shot by artists Maurizio Cattelan and Pierpaolo Ferrari.

The choice to use the phrase “DTF” in the campaign is one that Hobley said stemmed from the many pivotal moments that women have experienced over the past year, like the Women’s March and #MeToo movement. By taking a term that is commonly used by men in a demeaning way and changing it to one that can mean anything, Hobley is hoping the campaign’s message will resonate with women.

“When you subvert or change the meaning of a phrase that most often is used in a derogatory sense, you kind of take back the power,” she said. “We realized that we could take this phrase and let people make it what they want it to be.”

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