As we move firmly into the digital age, one of the tenets of marketing has become “meet consumers where they are,” whether that’s a phone, tablet, computer or smartwatch. And as marketers in the cause space get increasingly savvy, we’re seeing innovative ways to integrate a company’s social impact messages into consumers’ everyday experiences, including a smart appliance that triggers a donation, harnessing emojis for fundraising and a fitness tracker just for kids with a cause tie. The newest example has taken to dating apps – interjecting to educate consumers on an important issue while they surf for a date.
When it came to informing consumers about its Bio-Bridges program, The Body Shop turned to an unlikely avenue: Tinder. Now, users of the dating app in Canada may stumble upon Reggie, a Red Shanked Douc monkey from Vietnam looking for love, with a profile detailing information about the Bio-Bridges program and its goal to restore rainforest and create wildlife corridors so endangered animals can meet and mate. The digital activation is just part of the Help Reggie Find Love campaign, which includes a one-for-one component. Now, consumers can head to The Body Shop store or website until the end of September and each purchase will trigger the restoration of one square meter of rainforest. The brand is also encouraging consumers to share their social impact purchases using the hashtag #findreggielove for a chance to be featured on The Body Shop’s dedicated webpage. To activate on the ground, The Body Shop is partnering with conservation nonprofit World Land Trust, aiming to restore 75 million square acres via Bio-Bridges by 2020. The commitment also ladders up to The Body Shop’s overarching “Enrich, Not Exploit” platform to become the world’s most ethical and sustainable global business.
Injecting a cause message on a dating app may seem nontraditional, but in the spirit of meeting consumers where they are, the platform presents a huge marketing opportunity. In fact, data suggests there are an estimated 50 million Tinder users globally “swiping” a collective 1.4 billion times per day. Although this may not be the first time a brand has used Tinder to market to consumers, the Bio-Bridges tie-in seems to be a perfect fit – as The Body Shop aptly points out, “dating apps for monkeys don’t exist,” so it’s up to the brand and consumers to help Reggie find love and make an impact on a pressing global issue.