Brand Spotlight: Match Makes Us Smile as 2020 Draws to a Close

Posted on December 15, 2020

Updated on March 13, 2023

2 min read time

You can’t have a conversation about dating apps without mentioning Match. The brand is essentially the “Band-Aid” of dating apps, with its long and pioneering history preceding it. The thing is, while this type of long-standing status contributes to a brand’s strength in many categories, in the dating app market, it can be interpreted as out-dated and have the opposite effect. People, especially younger generations using dating apps for the first time, want to use the latest thing.

That means that one of the biggest challenges for Match is staying Relevant. In fact, Relevance, along with its emotional sidekick Empathy, are two of the areas most difficult to maintain for dating app brands as they age.

Well…challenge accepted! With its new ad campaign “2020 is Satan’s Soulmate,” Match does exactly that. The advert creates the perfect match between Satan (played by Ryan Reynolds) and “2020” (Natalie Roy). There’s literally not a single person on the face of the Earth who cannot find Relevance in this ad at the present moment.

                                      (Source: YouTube)

And Match doesn’t stop at Relevance and Empathy – which are just two of the 16 Drivers of relationships between brands and people who interact with them. They push the button on another emotional Driver - Attraction - with appealing and fun actors who embody the feeling of a good time together.

By pairing the perfect couple – a match made in Hell, the brand demonstrates how well they deliver on their core purpose, an indicator of high Performance. ‘Finding love’ on their site is what Match promises, and in this ad, they show that they deliver on this through seductive and persuasive messaging.

And can you guess what is the most important Driver for brands in the dating app category? Popularity.

It’s a bit of herd mentality – attract one and the rest will follow. People want to be dating where everyone else is dating – it’s why we all frequented the most popular bar in college. Match increases their perception of Popularity by choosing an actor with broad appeal, and with music from everyone’s sweetheart Taylor Swift.

ProQuo AI Category Intelligence showing the four most important Drivers - Popularity, Accessibility, Consistency and Clarity - in the Dating Apps category.

ProQuo AI Category Intelligence showing the four most important Drivers - Popularity, Accessibility, Consistency and Clarity - in the Dating Apps category.

January is the biggest time of year for new dating app sign-ups, similar to gym memberships, and so the campaign lands at the perfect time for those looking for new love in the new year.

But continued success for Match is going to come down to a lot more than a display of Relevance and Empathy from one ad campaign. As more and more singles look for love in virtual social-distancing fashion, and more and more brands compete for their patronage, the brands that build the best relationships with people across Emotional, Rational, Seductive, and Persuasive Drivers are the ones that will win, just like Satan and 2020 did.

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