Creative Director’s Choice: Madwell’s Chris Sojka on Hinge’s ‘Designed to be Deleted’ concept

Hinge's 'Designed to be Deleted' campaign

Creative Director’s Choice gives creative directors a chance to highlight the work they think is the best out in the ad world — the ads and campaigns they believe are making a difference.

This week, Chris Sojka, co-founder and chief creative officer at Madwell, states why Hinge’s ‘Designed to be Deleted’ campaign for the dating app is a refreshing way to approach app use.

Americans are spending more and more time on their smartphones, by recent measure close to 3 hours a day on average for adults. Cumulatively, we look at them 14 billion times every 24 hours. I'm pretty sure there's nearly as many think pieces on phone addiction and on how to fight it – mostly online, mostly read via smartphone.

This makes dating apps something of a paradox: the very applications we're using to make meaningful connections are powered by the devices that are steadily eating into the time we spend making meaningful connections. That's why I found Hinge's new campaign centered around the line "The dating app designed to be deleted" so refreshing.

It's an oddly novel concept, using apps until they fulfill their obligation and then amicably parting ways. (I still have an altitude tracking app on my phone from that one time I hiked somewhere and was curious how high I was. I wasn't very high.) It's a brilliantly bold gambit for a company whose stated goal is to help you find the person you'll spend the rest of your life (or a significant portion of it) with.

Anthropomorphizing their app icon as an adorable plush out to nix itself adds a dash of dark humor to a very pointed marketing message: Hinge works. So much so that it's built to create its own obsolescence.

This is at once a testament to a cultural moment in which technology addiction is an important debate and something of a moral promise. Hinge isn't asking you to keep paying fees for a premium account as you search and search. It doesn't want you to be the one-third of dating app users who never go on a date, or to profit off of your missed connections. It wants to do its job and let you get on with more important things. Like your life. Together.

Chris Sojka is co-founder and chief creative officer at Brooklyn-based agency Madwell.

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