After a record quarter OkCupid debuts ‘provocative’ new campaign championing inclusivity
The first dating app to enable users to select from a suite of sexuality and gender identity options, OkCupid is back with a new OOH campaign designed to celebrate ‘every single person’, featuring bold creative developed by Italian artists Maurizio Cattelan and Pierpaolo Ferrari.
OkCupid has launched a new OOH campaign championing ‘every single person’ – regardless of identity or beliefs
OkCupid has today unveiled a new global brand marketing campaign designed to celebrate the diverse array of single people who use the dating app. A primarily out-of-home (OOH) campaign, ‘Every Single Person’ asserts that OkCupid is a place for every type of single person, regardless of identity or beliefs.
“As people return to dating, however they feel most comfortable doing so, we want this campaign to show everyone – from feminists to introverts to non-binary to pansexuals to vaxxers – that OkCupid is a place where they can feel welcomed,” the brand’s global chief marketing officer Melissa Hobley tells The Drum. “We have always been an exclusively inclusive dating app, and that will never change.”
OkCupid has historically been among the most progressive dating services in terms of inclusivity. It was the first dating app to offer users a range of gender and sexuality selections – including 22 gender identities and 20 orientations – as well as the first to implement a profile section to include user pronouns. This summer, in conjunction with community experts and the Human Rights Campaign, the brand added even more identity tags, allowing users to customize their profile and preferences by selecting and filtering from more than 60 identities.
And in recent months, the platform has seen an influx in daters identifying as LGBT+. During the summer of 2021, OkCupid witnessed a nearly 20% uptick in daters identifying as non-binary, more than a 5% lift in users identifying as bisexual and a 7% increase in users who say they’re open to non-monogamous relationships. Additionally, the platform says it’s seen an 85% year-on-year leap in users identifying as pansexual. These changes reflect a larger trend happening across the country – Gallup data from February suggests that the US has seen a 5.6% increase in Americans identifying as LGBT since 2017. Inspired by the increasingly diverse community of daters on its app, OkCupid teamed with creative agency Mekanism to bring the campaign to life.
Mekanism tapped visual artist Maurizio Cattelan (known for his hyperrealistic sculptures) and photographer Pierpaolo Ferrari to develop the creative – a set of über-contemporary ads cast in rich colors featuring diverse models and taglines rendered in a bold typeface. In one image, a tree sprouts from a man’s boxer briefs as a disembodied arm stretches out with a watering can. ‘Every single tree hugger,’ the ad reads. Another ad depicts two models standing face-to-face, with a perfectly round bubble of gum situated between their mouths. ‘Every single pansexual,’ declares the ad.
“We needed this campaign to get noticed and knew that Maurizio Cattelan and Pierpaolo Ferrari were just the right people to help us co-create ads you just can’t unsee,” says Mekanism’s creative director Katrina Mustakas. “The ‘For Every Single Person’ campaign reintroduces OkCupid as a modern dating brand and generates cultural commentary that sets OkCupid up as a leader in the dating space and beyond. The bold and provocative aesthetic ... helps to bring this exclusively inclusive differentiation into the world.”
And provocative it certainly is; some of the creative assets developed for the project garnered immediate backlash. “When you’re truly inclusive, you’re bound to offend someone,” Mustakas says. “And that’s what happened. Several of our more provocative executions were not approved in many of our placements across New York, LA and Chicago. We had to scramble to replace them in the ninth hour, but that won’t stop us from welcoming ‘Every Single Person’ to OkCupid.”
The timing for the new campaign is ideal, says OkCupid’s Hobley. “After over a year of social distancing and virtual meetups, singles are ready to find love,” she says. “And for those who are getting back to dating – whether they’re meeting IRL or sticking to virtual dates – we want to celebrate every single one of them.” Today more than 70% of OkCupid users say they’re comfortable with in-person dating, and compared to last year the platform has seen more than an 80% increase in mentions of ‘in-person dating’ on daters’ profiles this summer.
The campaign launches less than three months after Match Group, OkCupid’s parent company and the world’s largest dating company, announced it had ushered in a record first quarter. Its suite of brands, including OkCupid, Tinder, Match and Hinge, has seen an unprecedented surge in app usage, which has contributed to a major spike in revenue in recent months. The company reported $668m in total revenue for Q1 – a 23% increase from the same period last year. OkCupid’s latest brand marketing initiatives could aid Match Group’s efforts to sustain this momentum.
Launching today with OOH placements in Chicago, Los Angeles and New York, ‘Every Single Person’ will eventually roll out across various markets around the globe, beginning with Europe later this year.