Tinder India Makes a Case for More Creative First Dates During Covid

BBH India tracks the changing norms

For Tinder, BBH India released "In Our Own Way," a celebration of Gen Z optimism and how they're redefining dating. The peppy little music video features an array of meet-cutes—the prep, the anticipation, and the first awkward approach.

"It is the Tinder community who came up with the 'creatives'—the many ways of dating," explains Vasudha Misra, executive creative director at BBH Delhi. "All we had to do was to reflect and celebrate them. 'In Our Own Way' is a refrain that champions their spirit—from choosing who to be with, to setting their own pace, to meet-ups at places which may not have seen dates before." 

#InOurOwnWay | Start Something Epic | Tinder India | ft @The Raja Kumari

By now we're accustomed to seeing how masks, social distancing and other affordances of this strange year express themselves in advertising. Dating has become more creative as a result, and here, it shows: There are VR headset dates, dates in separate wading pools, hopscotch dates, and screen-projected first encounters.

Watching it, we're filled with the sense of how Covid has changed the way we negotiate physical space with strangers, especially when to gauge mutual chemistry. Playfulness becomes more important, and that feeling, too, of unstated boundaries—how well can you read someone you just met but might like? Is this close too close?

"In Our Own Way" also conveys something interesting about how distance slowly closes as intimacy develops. Bit by bit, with charming subtlety, people draw nearer.

 "The pandemic has significantly diminished opportunities of chance encounters and interactions from our lives, especially for our young members. But human connection endures, unconstrained from rules of physical distance and barriers [both social and physical]," says Taru Kapoor, GM of India for Tinder and Match Group.

"Our members have creatively co-created and figured out new rules of meeting, hanging out and falling in love. None of this is surprising. Gen Z has always set their own pace, created their own rules, and thrived despite constraints, and Covid has only accelerated this ingenuity. This is the spirit we are championing and celebrating."

(A totally defensive sidenote: While we recognize that so much of advertising is about relating to the younger cohort, it merits saying—let's just get this out of the way—that no previous generation has yielded cooler, more fancy-free thirty-somethings than millennials. We are creatively designing our lives while the security of pensions, job steadiness, environmental stability and the American dream collapse around us. Just. Saying. But yeah. Good job at making dating better, youths!)

"In Our Own Way" was directed by Jess Kohl, with original music from Mikey McCleary and vocals by Raja Kumari, an Indian-American rapper, singer, songwriter and dancer.

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Angela Natividad
Angela Natividad is a founding contributor to Muse. She is also the co-founder of esports agency Hurrah.gg, and co-author of Generation Creation.

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