OkCupid's digital campaign #AllyOfLove in the times of virtual dating

It relied on influencer marketing during pride month.

NEW DELHI: The Covid2019 pandemic has changed the rules of the dating game and so dating apps have had to strategise ways for couples to meet online, converse and also find romance in it. The dating platform, OkCupid recently celebrated pride month 2020 with a lot of conversation-starting campaigns. It launched #AllyOfLove that celebrates all types of love, especially queer, and holds up the belief that everyone across genders and sexualities deserves to experience love equally. 

While planning for the campaign, the dating platform came across interesting data and user insights which indicated how progressive and welcoming the OkCupid community is while spotlighting the need to rally around members of the LGBTQi community and show them support.

“For the month of pride, we wanted to understand our users’ views both within and towards the LGBTQ community. The data has been gathered through questions on the OkCupid app which new and existing users answer to inform the app AI to be introduced to meaningful and compatible matches. With 18 sexual orientations, 22 gender options and over 3000 questions on the platform we make sure you are matched with people on the same wavelength as you to help you to make meaningful connections,” shares OkCupid CMO Melissa Hobley.

This year, with social distancing, pride parades across the world have been cancelled, taking away an avenue for the community to celebrate their identity and for the larger populace to show their solidarity. To continue the celebration of individuality even if it means from a distance, OkCupid’s pride campaign this year encouraged people both from the LGBTQ+ community and cis-heterosexual members to be an #AllyOfLove.

“The campaign establishes the fact that at the heart of it, all of us are not very different. Across gender identities, sexual orientation and geography, our desire for love and the need to overcome societal odds are the same because it is so fundamentally human. Some of us, however, find it more challenging than others because of generations of prejudice. We wanted to further amplify queer voices with the motive of gathering solidarity and showing what being a true #AllyOfLove means. Hence, through this campaign, we urge everyone to stand up for love. It’s easy, it’s natural. Be an #AllyOfLove,” she says.

The campaign which received an overwhelming response with over 1.72 million views and counting. The campaign was amplified on OkCupid India's social and digital pages - YouTube, Instagram and Facebook. To further spread the word, the platform partnered with influencers such as Ankush Bahuguna, Benafsha Soonawalla, Ankita Kumar, Amala Paul and Reba John who answered questions on the theme of ‘Never Have I Ever’ game as was done in the campaign and declared themselves an #AllyOfLove.  

During the pandemic, it found that millions of users are readjusting their dating lives. “We found out that matches on OkCupid have increased by 10 per cent worldwide since March 2020 - and conversations have increased over 20 per cent. In India, we witnessed a 26 per cent increase in conversations and a solid 12 per cent increase in matches on our platform,” says Hobley.

There’s also an increase in virtual dating. What would have been a casual coffee date or romantic dinner date night or long drive is now long hours of chatting, video calls and FaceTime, leading to meaningful conversations that spark an emotional connection - all from the safety of our comfortable homes.

“We at OkCupid believe that this form of virtual dating is ushering in a new era of ‘slow dating’ that’s been welcomed by singles. Around 85 per cent of users on OkCupid believe it’s important to develop an emotional connection before a physical one, so the switch to virtual dates has allowed these emotional connections to thrive,” she says.   

There is less pressure on people to dress up for a date or hurry through knowing each other, which has brought back the best parts of courtship, says Hobley. By slowing down dating, millennials are discovering love through long, meaningful moments apart. 

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