Since the end of March, university campuses across the country have been swiping right on Tinder to try to win a free concert by Cardi B (who is pregnant, by the way). This “swipe-off” is organized like a March Madness bracket, with rounds lasting a few days long, and the schools with the most right-swipes advancing to the next round. For the past week or so, a lot of undergrads have downloaded Tinder (or upped their regular Tinder use) to try to win this concert. Penn students must have been swiping right a lot, because we made it to the Finals as one of the top 8 schools! (We did not end up making it to the championship round of only 2 schools, winner to be announced soon).
I personally did not participate in this swipe-off, mostly because I’m not such a huge fan of Cardi B’s music and don’t feel strongly about winning a concert from her. But as a marketing strategy for Tinder, I see how this partnership with Cardi B was really successful in increasing Tinder downloads and average active users. Especially once we saw we were in the finals round, my friends kept asking each other if we’d been swiping for Cardi (side note: some people did get frustrated that they kept getting all these Tinder matches but knowing it was just for the Cardi B swipe-off, not because the people had any interest in meeting up).
It’s crazy how this campaign took over campuses, and Tinder (a social strategy addressing meet-failures), for the past few weeks. By partnering with Cardi B, who has been in the spotlight a lot since everyone saw her perform with Bruno Mars in “Finesse” at the Grammy’s this year, but who is a popular rapper in her own right, Tinder was able to significantly boost engagement on their app. Even if people weren’t using the app for its original purpose, instead swiping with abandon to win a concert, people were collectively still swiping a lot more than they otherwise would. Also, this contest resulted in some people creating new Tinder accounts, which they might use even after the swipe-off is over. Partnerships like this could be effective for other social platforms, using celebrities to engage and larger audience.