Promoting Safe Sex on Tinder is a Good Idea, but Will Users Actually Buy It?

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Israeli advertising agency Great Interactive and the AIDS Task Force have teamed up to create the Tinder AIDS Project, a campaign that places ads promoting safer sex within the dating/hookup app. When a user matches with one of the fake profiles created by the agency, they can view a gallery of a woman posing with a different man in each photo. The last photo in the gallery displays the tagline: “You’re probably not her only match. Use a condom.”

The Daily Dot’s EJ Dickson says the ad ‘slut-shames‘ women, which is somewhat unfair. Although the commercial above only shows examples of female profiles, there may be future ads on the way featuring male profiles for women or gay men to match with. There’s no reason to assume these ads won’t exist, because the issue of safer sex applies to everyone, not just women. It’s not about sluttiness — it’s about protection. But no matter who the ads target, the Tinder AIDS Project might have a hard time convincing users to buy in, simply because it’s too early for us to know which kinds of ads will actually succeed in the app. Early experiments with native ads on Tinder have proven irritating to users, because advertisers are getting in the way of the actual point of the app: to boost users’ egos. A user who thinks they’ve matched with a beautiful person only to find out they’ve been tricked by an ad is going to feel alienated, no matter what the ad’s underlying message.

So the Tinder AIDS Project: Good concept, imperfect execution.