Tinder defied convention by conducting its embarrassing public meltdown in full possession of its faculties
We’ve all done it. Just mix heartbreak and rejection with a few gins and you’re a blubbering mess composing a haughtily self-righteous text from the floor of your kitchen (aka meltdown HQ) castigating the ex that dumped you for their inability to see how wonderful you are and how selfish and deluded they are. If you’re very lucky a small shred of dignity - yet to be obliterated by the gin - will stop you from hitting ‘send’ before you pass out.
Unfortunately dignity didn’t come to the rescue of Tinder last week. Amazingly the powers that be there don’t need genuine heartbreak or even alcohol to lose all self-respect. Tinder defied convention by conducting its embarrassing public meltdown in full possession of its faculties.
Tinder’s Twitter hissy fit was directed at Vanity Fair journalist Nancy Jo Sales for daring to write an article saying the dating app encouraged a hookup culture amongst young adults and referencing a survey which found 30% of Tinder users are married. In retaliation, a social media bod at Tinder sent 31 tweets to Vanity Fair within the space of an hour. Highlights included: "Little known fact: sex was invented in 2012 when Tinder was launched" and "It’s about meeting people for all kinds of reasons. Travel, dating relationships and a shit ton of marriages."
I’ve seen toddlers in full tantrum mode conduct themselves with more class
It was hard to watch this particular Twitterstorm unfold and not feel superior. I’ve seen toddlers in full tantrum mode conduct themselves with more class. But there is a lesson for us all here. It’s clearly important for brand custodians to be passionate about their brand. Passion is what drives a brand forward and what makes customers sit up, listen and get their wallets out. But when that passion and emotion gets in the way of objectivity, not to mention reason and logic, you can kill they very thing you are trying to protect. We live in an age of transparency and the one thing you can always count on is that your brand will be criticised and get talked about in a way you don’t like. Why give people even more reason to question you by venting at those who would point out the failings, or the truth, about your brand?
It is interesting to compare Tinder’s approach to the media attention it received with that of another dating app that came under fire recently, Ashley Madison, the dating site that has made a fortune out of facilitating adultery. When the news about Ashley Madison members’ information getting hacked broke it sparked much hand wringing in the media over the moral dubiousness of the site. Unlike Tinder, Ashley Madison didn’t wade into the debate in full diva mode. It let the debate happen - no doubt seeing the huge amount of publicity generated by the hack as a silver lining.
I hasten to point out that Ashley Madison, which has incorporated sexism, fat-shaming and the glorification of domestic violence into its marketing strategy, is not a brand to emulate in any capacity. But it was shrewd enough to get through a media storm without adding to it. Unlike Tinder, which took an approach that couldn’t have been more of a turn off.