Clean, vibrant graphics and au courant humor come together in OkCupid’s latest marketing campaign, inspiring us all to be a little less jaded.

If 2018 hasn’t been your absolute nightmare thus far, lucky you. Between a political hellscape and Nicki Minaj blaming a baby for her album’s No. 2 Billboard debut, almost nothing is shocking anymore.

But once in a blue (no, something rarer, even — magenta? Kelly green? ) moon, something comes along that restores just a smidge of our hope in humanity and the okay-ness of it all. With bold, colorful design, doses of well-measured humor, and nods to pop culture for the millennial dater, OkCupid’s unexpected, refreshing, and relatable DTF (yes, that NSFW acronym, but deftly reimagined) campaign is here to give us new life. Here are five reasons it’s working:

1. It champions equality.

okcupid dtf ad campaignI mean, how adorable is this LGBTQIA-affirming ad? Not sure about the extra arms, though I’m hoping it’s an obscure reference to Parvati, the arguably genderqueer Hindu goddess of love and fertility, who is often depicted with many arms.

2. It’s downright funny.

okcupid dtf ad campaignThese ads are plastered across subway trains in NYC and across the country — many places where recreational marijuana use is not legal. However, over 20% of American adults admit that they smoke or consume the devil’s lettuce at least once or twice a year. It seems OkCupid just really knows their audience.

3. It celebrates the intersection of cultures and languages.

okcupid dtf ad campaignIn a time when xenophobia has been given a larger public platform than ever before, we love to see the embrace of diversity — even in a minor capacity, like this nod to the Spanish language. Plus, who doesn’t get some sliver of sick joy in arguing over sports? And, yes, I’m certain the positioning of those balls was strategic.

4. It promotes meaningful dialogue.

okcupid dtf ad campaignOn a recent night out, I discovered a shocking truth: in 2018, you can have a conversation about politics with someone who has vastly different views from you — without feeling like pulling your own hair out. And to do so within the context of a romantic relationship? OkCupid has checkmated us all.

5. It just *gets* us.

okcupid dtf ad campaignThis is just a validation of our extremely unhealthy Netflix habits (feels pretty Stranger Things, amirite?) Spoiler alert: OkCupid is killing the marketing game. After the debut of the DTF campaign, CMO Melissa Hobley reported 50% more mentions of the brand on social media. With this ad, I’m just about D-T-Forget About Every Other Dating App I’ve Ever Used.

Times are tough, but OKCupid’s DTF campaign reminds marketers that it’s okay to be joyful. By tapping into consumers’ core wants and everyday experiences, the ads reflect the colorful, unique experiences that OKCupid’s users create with each other. The takeaway for marketing pros? You don’t always have to approach your audience with a serious face on – be D-T-Find the happiness and humor in consumers’ minds.

Author Kendra Clark

A current graduate student in creative writing at the University of Cambridge, Kendra writes for a broad array of L&T's clients in industries ranging from healthcare to manufacturing. She has consulted for tech startups in California and Washington, D.C. on editorial and brand strategy development. With a degree in philosophy and literature from Santa Clara University, she is a lover of poetry, vegan Thai food, documentary films, and arguing about Nietzsche.

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