OkCupid prods daters to ask what truly matters to them in provocative campaign

Dating app OkCupid is again provoking daters with the introduction of its new ‘Ask Yourself’ ad campaign, which encourages singles to define what matters most to them when it comes to relationships.

The campaign is inspired by real daters’ answers to OkCupid’s extensive in-app questions, which have generated more than 7bn responses from users around the world.

The dating company partnered with artist Xaviera López to create looping animations that bring its iconic matchmaking questions to life. These animations are visual representations of how OkCupid questions connect like-minded people, according to the brand's global chief marketing officer Melissa Hobley.

The questions are more specific than those of most general dating apps, featuring targeted queries such as ‘Is a soulmate worth waiting for?’, ‘Foreplay or get right to it?’ and the timely ‘Could you date someone who couldn't be bothered to vote?’

The company released the campaign at the top of the year because, as Hobley stated: “Dating apps are like the health business – January is very important for us. It falls into the whole ‘new year new you’ resolution.

"People want to do a few things at the beginning of the year, and it’s ‘get healthier’ and ‘find their person’ at the top of their lists.”

OkCupid is known for its extensive questionairres. From the beginning of its history, daters have had to answer a number of questions in order to set up their profiles. People initially have to get through 15, but there are more than 3,000 to answer.

“Some of those questions are important because they’re along the lines of ‘what kind of relationship do you want? Someone to come home to, or someone to go out with?’ We want to take these answers and use the algorithm to figure out who to show to you. If you’re looking for short-term you should not be shown to people who are looking for something serious,” said Hobley.

“The most important part of the OkCupid experience are these questions. It felt really right that the OkCupid iconic questions lead the new campaign."

She added that single people in different parts of the world care about different topics, so while voting might be huge in New York, a question about women working after marriage is much more important in Mumbai.

“The creative lends itself to reflect back what people care about in certain parts of the world, and what issues do matter to them,” said Hobely.

OkCupid worked with Mekanism on the campaign, as well as illustrator Lopez, “who does these trippy, mesmerizing animated loops, and she is bringing some of our questions to life in really beautiful ways,” said Hobley. “They’re provocative, they make a statement.”

Lopez said: “When I started thinking about the illustrations for this campaign, I was so inspired by the depth of questions that OkCupid provides for their users, and I wanted my work to match their intensity, playfulness and honesty.

"I hope that the work inspires those to take a chance and find out more about themselves and their future partners.”

OkCupid has proven its marketing mettle before with its ‘DTF’ campaign, that reimagined what those initials stood for outside of the usual sexual nature.

With this campaign, Hobley hopes the message is taken to a new level. “We have so many questions that get people talking. We’ve learned a lot of what makes compatibility.”

‘Ask Yourself’ will roll out across digital and social platforms, as well as out-of-home, in major cities around the world, starting with New York City.

See the work by clicking the Creative Works box below.

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