Laura Wilkinson Rea
Nov 23, 2023

Behind the campaign: Tinder helps singles overcome relationship-related tattoo regret

Laura Wilkinson Rea, senior director of communications at Tinder, Northern Europe, discusses the bold recent campaign for the dating app.

Behind the campaign: Tinder helps singles overcome relationship-related tattoo regret

What was the campaign, in a nutshell?

Almost half of young people regret having a tattoo that reminds them of a previous relationship—which is why Tinder partnered with leading tattoo artists to offer free cover-ups, so people could get back out there and date with confidence.

How did the idea come into being?

The idea first came about having read an article about an Australian couple who got matching tattoos on their first date. It triggered a conversation about Tinder and tattoos at large. We dug deeper and found that ‘tattoo’ is the eighth most popular Interest on Tinder in the UK, and that there are heaps of singles that are ‘walking canvases of commitment’ to relationships they’re no longer in. We decided to offer them some help through a tattoo cover-up activation to get them back dating.

What ideas were rejected?

As the idea came from such a strong insight, there weren’t really any others that were rejected. It was important for us to ensure the idea was positioned correctly internally, as it was a bold move! Offering tattoo cover-ups to members of the public for free doesn’t come without risk; with Tinder being a hugely recognised name, we needed to do our due diligence.

Briefly describe the campaign planning and process.

From idea to activation was nearly 12 months and that was largely because we needed the timing to be right. This was a local market activation and we needed to ensure maximum impact to drive good coverage. September is typically ‘cuffing season’, where people look to seek a relationship ahead of the winter months, which timed nicely for the launch.

Working with the team at Weber Shandwick we looked ‘outside-in’ and then built out our narrative. No matter how creative your idea is (and how personally wonderful you think it is) the narrative needs to be robust. Our complete story needed to be strong and authentic to Tinder, and not just cool for cool’s sake.

Then came the logistics. The Weber Shandwick team was tasked with proposing the best approach to execute this campaign. Once we knew what was viable, we secured internal buy-in.

Working in partnership with marketing we began to build out an integrated campaign approach. We worked collaboratively with our agency partners to define objectives and roles and responsibilities.

What were the biggest challenges, and how did you overcome them?

Our biggest challenge was trying to deal with the demand we created. We had people travelling from across the country and international inquiries. We did extend tattooing time to fit in as many people as possible.

How did you measure the results, and what were they?

Results were based on targeted media. Tinder is a brand for Gen Z, meaning from a comms perspective we needed to deliver rich storytelling in titles including Vice, Hypebeast, HuffPost etc. We landed 60+ articles (no nibs, or snippets—these were feature pieces).

We set ourselves high sentiment targets and achieved them—80% of the coverage was positive, 20% neutral and 0% negative. We also saw positive WOM and Buzz (from YouGov tracking) increase from the announcement of the campaign and sustain through to the in-real-life activation.

And finally, the intangible metric that all comms professionals love—someone randomly saying that they had heard about the campaign and thought it was brilliant. In my case, it was my hairdresser!

What’s the biggest lesson you took away from the campaign?

Be the biggest critic of your own ideas. Before suggesting this idea to my work colleagues, I had ‘field tested’ it with friends and family to see their reaction and whether it had legs.

Nothing comes without risk. However, working as an integrated team you can make your campaign as bulletproof as possible. After all, every dollar you spend counts.


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