Last Fall, Grindr took a risk. In an age of influencer marketing — a strategy of showcasing your most loyal (or famous) fans — the popular queer (and oldest!) dating app decided to do the opposite. They selected representatives from the communities most discriminated against on their app and gave them a soapbox. Literally.
The Kindr campaign, as it was called, aimed to raise awareness amongst the app’s broader user base about the effects of hateful words and prejudice on the platform. By putting a face to the people on the other side of the screen, it hoped awareness would be a first step towards empathy and, in turn, kindness. The campaign was risky and rule-breaking but has gone on to be award-winning.
In November, we sat down with Matt Brooks who worked on @Grindr's Kindr campaign to hear the how's and why's of how they made such an impactful campaign with a small, scrappy team. That interview is our newest episode of Character Count. Some takeaways:
"There's definitely a risk with highlighting the negative experiences that people have on your app, but we are trying to kind of help our community grow up in a way and really affect long-term behavior change. If Grindr was just saying 'hey be kind to each other' it wouldn't have the impact that it did by giving [a voice] to the real people experiencing these issues."