Tinder has launched a brand film to highlight how disbanding consent in relationships can cause long-lasting damage to a couple’s mental health. Conceptualised by Jugaad Motion Pictures, the film features several stories of couples to help people understand the concept of consent, which goes way beyond just physical intimacy.
The film features the many barriers that couples face with regard to consent. It showcases how partners - in most cases women, refrain from denying their partners sexual pleasures at the thought of disappointing them, even when they might not be into it at the time. It sheds light on gauging the importance of the subtle cues that a partner gives the other, even without explicitly saying the word “no”.
Production house: Jugaad Motion Pictures
Director: Ria Singh
Actors: Kavya Trehan as Ria, Mirnal Dutt as Ved
Written by: Ria Singh and Heem Verma
We caught up with Taru Kapoor, general manager, India – Tinder and Match Group to learn more about the campaign, the brand’s ideology and its observation from the journey during the lockdown.
How did the 'consent' idea for the brand film come about?
Consent is a foundational value for us at Tinder. This film is part of a larger initiative which we've been working on for the past couple of weeks. In India, popular culture has been blurring the lines of consent and it's a topic we don't talk about enough. We feel the onus to initiate some of these conversations and normalise the discourse on this topic. We've also partnered with a lot of influencers, brands and creators from the industry and created a resource centre called 'Let's Talk Consent'. This platform gives insights into the many practical questions that people have with regard to consent.
You had an intimacy coach specifically work on this campaign - how did that help you?
We wanted to ensure that the few intimate scenes that the film encompasses preserve the comfort and safety of the actors. They have to be able to express what they were okay with and not what they had to. We wanted to make this a part of our practice and help bring informed choices by having an intimacy coach.
The brand film is longer than most digital films airing today. Do you think the duration would hamper the film's reach and visibility?
This is not an ad film, but an initiative to have conversations around consent. I do believe that there is a lot of appetite for powerful storytelling. People consume all sorts of content and a good story has a message that resonates. It has to reach people not only in terms of eyeballs but also emotionally. We hope that this video starts this conversation since it’s not a conventional film.
Has Tinder received official complaints concerning sexual harassment? If yes, how have you dealt with it to make it a safer place for users, especially women?
We've designed Tinder for users to have control over the app. This means - they (especially women) don't get inappropriate messages. Safety is our priority globally and we're investing as much as 100 million dollars on product features to enhance safety. We have had some global complaint cases where we've worked with law enforcement of the respected geography. However, when anyone reports something that happens offline, we work with law enforcement and with the user. If something happens on the product, we get notified and take the appropriate action. Nevertheless, we’ve not seen too many complaints with regard to sexual harassment cases in India.
With lockdown restrictions and other physical distancing protocols, how did you keep Tinder's meet and date game going?
A lot of our users were always good with digital foot rules and the pandemic accelerated the adoption of that behaviour. We didn’t expect people to figure this out so well, but Gen Z hacked the pandemic. During the first lockdown, we saw the old rules of dating fall off the window, but people made their own. We launched a face-to-face offering, which almost was like a half-date experience. People have been lonely in this time and have wanted to reach out to find friends and look for companionship and love. This causes the activity to increase quite a bit and conversations went up, behaviours changed. We saw different user cohorts adapt differently. It was up to the user to figure how they wanted to do it.
What role does advertising play for your brand?
We don't rely on advertising and almost none of our revenue in India comes from advertisers. We work on subscriptions aligned with our users. Our engagement has been so high since the pandemic and since advertising is not a focus area for us, we don't quote advertisers. We do get requests from a few advertisers and allow them on our platform if they’re relevant for us. We work more with Gen Z and young brands like Netflix.
Name some of the biggest marketing challenges that you still face in this industry...
There aren't many, so to say. Dating is still a nascent behaviour and we realise India’s dating habits better than anyone else. Our secret success is that our users love us and are our biggest advocates. It's a very word-of-mouth driven product and my focus is to make sure that my product works for my users because they are the ultimate brand ambassadors for Tinder.