Match Repositions as a Dating App for the Adults in the Room

Tequila shots in one's mouth sour over time

Since the arrival of swipe-right culture, online dating's become a bigger gauntlet than it already was. And we're all getting older. Tinder is freaking 12 years old already!


Match has been around since 1995. It's nearly as old as the online dating category itself. And certainly older than a lot of the people on the dating circuit now. So where's its fit in this brave new world?

This is a more critical question than ever as longtime daters start burning out, not only from dating but from too many platform options. You've got OKCupid for somewhat left-leaning nerds who like tests. Raya is for the Soho House set (assuming they're not hooking up on the Soho House app itself). Lesbians and bi women like Hinge. For gay dudes there's Grindr. Bumble puts women in control of the conversation. And we won't even bother finding a slot for Tinder, because it's Tinder (and it'll be where Match is in 10-odd years, assuming it survives).

Wherefore Match, then?

According to the brand's "Singles in America" study, less than half of its respondents feel excited or enthusiastic about dating. Sixty-four percent already feel burned out, what with all the catfishing, ghosting and gaslighting. Alongside Mojo Supermarket, Match is betting that worn-out daters mostly want to just find the adults in the room.

That’s the premise of "Adults Wanted." Designed like a bunch of vintage help-wanted signs, this installation-exclusive campaign sings its siren song across NYC and L.A.: Lend us your go-to-bed-earlies, your two-way communicators, your matches who are not only smart but nice, and those who forego flower purchases for tampon runs. (I don't know, I'm cool with both.)

"Break your own rules with someone who also has boundaries," one sign proclaims, while another quips, "Make out with someone who’s made something of their life."

"Dating shouldn't feel like a chore. It should be exciting—dare I say, fun," says Amber Harrison, Match's VP of brand. "This summer, Match is encouraging adult singles to get off of the app and get out on real dates—where you let down your hair and completely let go with someone who is really ready to let you in."

It’s simple stuff. The typefaces are sort of Wes Anderson-esque. Without trying to light any fire in your loins, clever copy does the talking. The posters are flanked by separate "Adults Wanted" signs, which feature the Match logo and tagline, "Adults Date Better."

"Toxic dating stories are a dime a dozen and as riveting as they are over brunch, they don’t exactly inspire anyone to date," says account director Scott Mai at Mojo Supermarket. "Dating can and should be fun. With Adults Wanted, we want to appeal to emotionally mature adults who are still looking for a good time with someone that they're attracted to. Because when you're an emotionally mature adult, you deserve a partner that communicates, respects your boundaries, and simply makes you feel good."

"There’s a place to find them," he concludes. "And it's on Match.”

That felt like a graduation speech. But it's a level of earnestness that matches this campaign, so we'll take it.

More images below. Click to enlarge:

Angela Natividad
Angela Natividad is the European markets editor at Muse by Clio. She also writes about gaming and fashion, and whatever else she's interested in, really. She's based in Paris and North Italy, so if you're local, say hi. She might eat all your food.

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