Why Is OkCupid Ad Saying OkAbortions?

Well the Doc opened up the old mailbag today and here’s what poured out.

Dear Dr. Ads,

There I was, minding my own business and reading Adweek when I came across this report by Sara Century on the latest wrinkle in online dating.

OkCupid Relaunches ‘Every Single Person’ Campaign to Champion Reproductive Rights

One less-discussed element of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic is the effect it has had on daters, with the conflicting concepts of social distancing and meeting new people causing trepidation for many. Likewise, a desire to discuss politics has shot up in recent years, creating further obstacles for casual dating.

With these barriers in mind, OkCupid is relaunching its “Every Single Person” campaign, which originally kicked off last fall. The brand is doubling down on its mission of inclusivity by adding a new pro-choice line across the NYC subway.

This campaign, which features 17 images, is the result of OkCupid’s 12-month effort to understand gender and identity in order to utilize technology that will appeal to as wide a variety of communities as possible. Brainstormed by OkCupid’s CMO Melissa Hobley and Devin Colleran, it features art by Maurizio Cattelan and photography by Pierpaolo Ferrari.

The dating service has even joined with Planned Parenthood “to create a badge that would assist users in matching with others that supported reproductive rights.”

Most companies wouldn’t associate themselves with the abortion issue at gunpoint. What gives, Doc.

– Are They OkStupid?

Dear ATO,

This one’s a corker, as my former associate Nurse Ads might say. (Nurse Ads is “former” because she’s off actually attending medical school.)

For starters, here are some of the groups that preceded the pro-choicers in the OkCupid campaign.

Fun fact to know and tell: According to Phoebe Bain’s report in Marketing Brew, three of those four ads were just rejected by officials at the Metropolitan Transit Authority, a.k.a. the New York subway system. You can probably guess which ones.

OkCupid’s pro-pro-choice ad comes in the wake of this viral video, which depicts a woman tearing down OkCupid ads on a New York subway train and has been viewed over 1.1 million times on YouTube during the past four months.

Devin Colleran, senior brand manager of OkCupid, told Adweek that “the homophobic rant in response to our campaign only empowered us to double down on our commitment to celebrate all kinds of identities and love both in our app and our marketing.”

As for abortion being the third rail for marketers, MediaPost’s Sarah Mahoney reports that “it’s all part of the brand’s ongoing mission to have users bring their entire selves to the dating process.”

“We want you to bring your issues — pun intended — to dating,” says Melissa Hobley, chief marketing officer. “That can include unapologetically supporting abortion. We want to make it ‘hot’ for people to commit to those issues to our dating app. If you’re pro-choice — and the majority of the country is — and can’t imagine dating someone who isn’t, then that’s a real and relevant issue.”

Real, relevant, and . . . risky.

Then again, that’s OkCupid’s choice

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