To authentically increase brand awareness and build brand affinity among its predominantly Gen Z member base, Tinder needed a way to creatively engage its target audience that illustrated the brand’s understanding of their cultural preferences and methods of media consumption.
Coupling their growing affinity for 90’s nostalgia with the celebrity of TikTok’s biggest stars, Tinder tested Gen Z's responsiveness to the brand by producing a “Beverly Hills 90210” parody. Starring Noah Beck, Tayler Holder, Markell Washington, Kellianne Stankus, SJ Bleau and Gabby Murray, this new Gen Z take on the 90’s cult classic, “90069,” gave fans the opportunity to see a new side of their favorite TikTok creators.
Tinder's goals included the following:
Increase positive social sentiment + brand love
Grow their Gen Z audience by producing content by Gen Z, for Gen Z
Drive organic growth on YouTube (Targeting +3K monthly audience growth and 50K average views)
After the parody received an overwhelmingly positive response and resulted in 740K+ views across platforms, fans clamored for more. This presented an opportunity for Tinder to continue this conversation with their growing Gen Z community by partnering with their ambassadors to bring the story to life as a series aimed at increasing brand awareness and brand love among 18-24 year olds.
Tinder based the series on the various forms of connection that can be found on Tinder and incorporated member-sourced elements to the storyline to provide an opportunity for fan involvement while driving viewership and social buzz on Tinder’s owned channels.
The TikTok stars that Tinder utilized for the series were part of a long-term ambassador partnership program with Tinder. Throughout the duration of the partnership, many of the ambassadors entered into relationships. As fans began to question why these creators were partnering with a dating app if they were in relationships, Tinder needed to find an organic way to incorporate brand and product messaging into their creative while remaining authentic to their relationship statuses. Scripting a fictional show allowed Tinder to more authentically weave the brand and product into their creative and created an opportunity to tap into a new side of these creators - as actors in starring roles for the series.
Though all of the creators had a passion and talent for acting, most of them had never acted professionally before. The series gave them the opportunity to take their careers to the next level and show off their acting chops while giving fans exclusive content featuring their favorite TikTok stars that doubled as fresh entertainment.
Tinder also incorporated a member-sourced element to the series to drive further investment among fans. In the early planning stages of the series, the stars of the show put out posts asking for follower submissions to help develop the fan fiction story and various elements of their submissions were incorporated throughout the storyline.
Involving the fans in the storyline, allowing the talent to pursue their ultimate acting passion beyond being TikTok stars and combining highly-produced footage with raw behind-the-scenes content proved to be a winning formula to turn passive Tinder users into active ones while creating a sense of shared experience based on fandom.
Resulting in continued growth across all core social channels and a total of 697.6M views on TikTok alone, the insights from the “90069” fan fiction series allowed Tinder to evolve the brand’s approach to content creation all together.
The premiere episode of the series is currently the 3rd most popular video of all time on Tinder’s channel - garnering over 3.5M views. The entire series also drew in over 6M views on YouTube and drove an average of +9K monthly audience growth on the platform.
The results helped increase brand relevance and awareness among Gen Z audiences, with fans of the featured influencers flocking to Tinder's social channels for previews, teasers and behind the scenes content in addition to watching each of the episodes on YouTube.
The series' results not only exceeded Tinder’s benchmarks in followers, impressions, views and engagements, but also after measuring the qualitative data through the comments around user sentiment and resonance, the brand found that the impact and relevance of the series improved brand love exponentially.
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