eHarmony Valentine's campaign woos disillusioned 'swipers'

With child-like innocence, the 'Be my Valentine' campaign aims to distinguish the service from its swipe-based competition.

Online dating site eHarmony wants to help singles in Australia reclaim Valentine's Day from couples by going back to an age-old tradition: sending cards to one's crushes on this ocassion.

Apparently, 44 percent of Aussie singles have never received a Valentine's Day card, and nearly a third haven't received one in over a decade, according to an online survey commissioned by eHarmony. The findings prompted the algorithm-based dating site to launch the 'Be my Valentine' campaign, which allows users to send virtual cards.

eHarmony worked with children to design these cards, which have been placed in Sydney cafés through OOH company Avant.

Nicole McInnes, managing director of eHarmony in Australia, told Campaign Asia-Pacific the campaign is part of eHarmony's new brand positioning to bring the elusive 'spark' to life.

"The rollout of Be My Valentine continues the brand’s mission to put the focus back on people and love with a universal appeal," McInnes said. "Using below-the-line channels like Facebook has allowed us to target different demographics but with the same message."

The campaign, developed by OMD Australia with WE Buchan, is supported by social and earned media activity, local area marketing and digital including the video above. The campaign follows a TVC eHarmony released late last year.

McInnes noted that the campaign may not drive instant conversions, but she believes that it will bring a goodwill uplift over time.

"I am a big believer in relevance and entertainment as conversion drivers," she said. "I think sometimes marketers get buried in data and forget that our audience are human and make decisions with their emotions, rather than just with their head. I think this is especially true if your content aligns seamlessly with your values as a brand and a key insight from your audience. So you have to make sure you aren’t entertaining without authenticity, context and relevance to ensure success."

The company claims to have matched 200,000 couples Down Under since its launch 10 years ago. McInnes said the online dating market has become cutthroat, and the proliferation of free apps has given rise to bad dating habits among users. "According to our very own research, dating multiple people (65 percent), ‘ghosting’ (57 percent), and stringing along those they aren’t interested in (34 percent) are just some of the bad behaviours cited by Aussies who have turned to swipe-based dating apps," said McInnnes.

Taking a swipe at the apps, McInnes said eHarmony presents a science-based and happiness-driven option to singles, once they get over the swiping. 

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