OkCupid has redefined the meaning of DTF to exclude sex but include the more colourful aspects of dating. As the swipe culture popularised by Tinder falls out of favour, OkCupid’s ad campaign picks up political themes and surreal imagery to show that old school digital romance can be unconventional. We explore the insights behind the ad, and explain why getting surreal and political may help OkCupid build its appeal as a Tinder alternative.
The campaign by Wieden + Kennedy reimagines the acronym ‘DTF’, which stands for ‘down to fuck’ in modern dating parlance. OkCupid’s ads instead spell out a number of other dating-related activities for DTF, from ‘down to farmer's market’ to ‘down to fight about the president’. The ads paint a colourful picture of people’s love lives without putting sex at the centre – a clear jab at Tinder and other hook-up apps.
OKCupid’s campaign emphasises love without putting sex at the centre
Wieden + Kennedy (2017) ©
The visuals were created by Maurizio Cattelan and Pierpaolo Ferrari, the artist and photographer behind ToiletPaper magazine. “We set out to really explore what happened to chivalry and courtship and how modern-day dating seemed to be on a bad trajectory,” says Ian Hart, copywriter at W+K. “Modern dating treats emotions like a disposable commodity. Anyone who’s been single knows this. It’s an aspiration to treating people like people.”
Tinder transformed its gamified version of dating into a young person’s pursuit, with 80% of its users under the age of 35. But with the app’s casual reputation so clearly delineated, OkCupid was then perceived as somewhat stodgy and serious. Now, as people start to sour on swipe culture, dating apps are looking to meet in the middle. While Tinder is renouncing an app interface that makes people seem disposable, shifting instead to a newsfeed-style interface that allows for slower contemplation, OkCupid is highlighting its fun side by taking on the surreal aesthetic of ToiletPaper and rebranding ‘DTF’ to show that serious dating can still be exciting.
Mira Kopolovic is a behavioural analyst at Canvas8, which specialises in behavioural insights and consumer research. She has an MA in creative industries, which focused on artist-brand collaborations, and spends her spare time poring over dystopian literature.
08 Jan 18
2 min read