From Hookups to Heaven – Gen Z and Tinder’s new campaign

Published: March 01, 2023

min read

Tinder has always been known for hookups.

Now in a big bold move forward, it is repositioning itself as a platform that goes way beyond hookups to meaningful relationships. They did this with their first ever global brand campaign, “It Starts with A SwipeTM.”

The core message of the campaign is that there are endless possibilities that await Gen Z through the Tinder app, no matter how they decide to define love.

The campaign is truly reflective of the diversity in its user base – from the hetero-normative to the sapio-sexual gender fluid and everything in between. In a vibrant celebration of this diversity and the myriad possibilities that Tinder offers its customers, the campaign is wildly colorful, distinctive and very inclusive.

The campaign was from the agency, Mischief and was shot by French hybrid photo-digital artist Pol Kurucz, and brings to life the magic of possibilities, happy endings and fairy tales. The videos were directed by Los Pérez of Biscuit Filmworks. It was produced using a diverse cast and crew that truly reflects the fluid and inclusive attitude, inherent to Tinder.

The inspiration for this campaign and the target audience are one and the same – Gen Z. Tinder data found that the number one relationship goal of users was a long-term bond and not just a hookup or a one night stand. And they were looking for authenticity and honesty, diversity and inclusion.

With Gen Z being the inspiration, the campaign celebrates everything from a whole bunch of diverse possibilities, genders, orientations and multiculturalism.

Tinder daters have changed the state-of-the-date by tossing out traditional views and are embracing unconventional experiences and a whole new vocabulary and we are excited to be able to reflect their reality through a vibrant and lush imagery in our campaign.

Melissa Hobley,

Tinder Global Chief Marketing Officer.

So, there are spots that are about queer and trans love. There are others about hookups and one-night stands, which could lead to long-term relationships, too. And there are those about relationship milestones – the meet the friends, the leave a toothbrush at someone’s place, even meeting the parents.

And it is all done in a very lovely 80’s style kind of feel.

4 lessons marketers can learn from this campaign about engaging with Gen Z

Fundamentally Gen Z is inclusive and diverse – so if you want to engage with them, you’d better speak the language of diversity and inclusion too!

Gen Z grew with a backdrop of a first Black president; is familiar and comfortable in multi-cultural and multi-ethnic situations and family units and is less fazed than the previous generations about differences in gender, religion, race, sexual orientation or color. Their family units could be anything - single parent, two dads or two moms, mom and dad.

The messaging that Gen Z will relate to, will be something that incorporates all this in its DNA. The Tinder campaign has the essence of that. Brands would do well to include that too.

Gen Z was born into a world that was at its peak in technological innovation, a world where social media was ubiquitous. They turn to Tinder to find their soul-mates (or their hookups – or anything in between). They look for information digitally and whether they are physically connected socially or no, they definitely are connected virtually. Brands must know that Gen Z is a digital native who makes informed decisions and craft its strategy and messaging accordingly.

They are more authentic (for want of a better word) and honest and expect the same from brands, if the latter wants to win their trust. On Tinder, they don’t hesitate to swipe right – the heart wants what the heart wants and they go with it. They don’t appreciate being misled (nobody does). Brands must remember that they can verify information instantly and share their views to their network, just as quickly too.

The campaign reflects Gen Z in yet another way. It reflects the fact that Gen Z makes connections over shared issues – whether it is political or environmental or social. And those issues are important to Gen Z. To win them over, Brands will do well to commit to a cause as that can get their attention.

One of the variants of this campaign has a couple looking at a huge gigantic monster made of plastic bottles. The tag line reads, “Someone to save the planet with.”

The heart does want what the heart wants – and Tinder has shown through this campaign, that it knows what Gen Z wants. Brands would benefit greatly if they did too.


Jasmine Jackson

Jasmine is a social media maven with a talent for building engaged communities. She's a natural storyteller and has a way of making complex ideas accessible to everyone. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, and exploring new cuisines.


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