Why OkCupid is getting political

Inside the dating site's Ask Yourself campaign.

Campaign: OkCupid
Company: Ask Yourself
Agency partners: Mekanism (creative), in-house (media relations, PR) 
Duration: December - present (ongoing)

Could you date someone who couldn’t be bothered to vote? Would you only date someone who is pro-choice? As part of OkCupid’s Ask Yourself campaign, the dating site is asking users about these topics, along with other important issues, to spotlight its ability to match users based on their opinions.

OkCupid users choose from thousands of questions to answer when filling out their profiles, a level of personalization that differentiates the dating site from most of its competitors.  

Since the 2016 election, OkCupid has noticed a spike in the number of people responding to environmental and political questions, such as their stance on climate change, gun control and reproductive rights. 

The company wanted a campaign that highlighted its unique ability to match users based on a shared world view.

"Everyone has different priorities, especially when it comes to dating and relationships," said Michael Kaye, global communications manager at OkCupid.

Ask Yourself was designed to encourage "daters to ask themselves what matters most when it comes to dating and relationships," Kaye said.

Discussions for the campaign began in early 2019; planning kicked off in the summer. 

From the beginning, the team wanted to lean into overtly political topics as the campaign was slated to launch in the first month of an election year.

"For us, these were natural and authentic conversations to be having," said Kaye. 

Ask Yourself "brought five iconic questions to life" through illustrated GIFs and videos, he added.

The digital launch took place on December 26, 2019, followed by a press release on January 6, 2020. A few weeks after that, subway ads featuring the illustrations were unveiled in New York City.

Over the next year, OkCupid will extend the out-of-home component of the campaign to other U.S. cities as well as international markets, starting with San Francisco.

"All the creative [assets] will be localized," Kaye said. "Daters in San Francisco don’t use the same terminology as our daters in Manhattan."

The five campaign videos - one for each question - have been viewed more than 8.5 million times collectively across Instagram, YouTube and Facebook. Across social media channels, the campaign generated more than 12,500 comments, likes and shares. 

Engagement on OkCupid’s Instagram account in January was up 15%, compared to a month earlier. On Twitter, mentions increased 353% during that same time period. 

The campaign generated more than 25 earned placements, including trade, consumer (AskMen, Thrive Global), and local media organizations (amNew York, the New York Daily News). 

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