In an unlikely union, ride-hailing app Grab and dating app Tinder teamed up to give Grab users the chance to meet one of Tinder’s top 10 personalities. In addition, the Singapore-based ride-hailing app and the dating app are sponsoring an all-expense paid outing for the winning user and his match.
The promotional campaign between these two apps is a first in the Southeast Asia (SEA) and is an effort to “bring[ing] new experiences to our customers,” according to Cheryl Goh, vice president of marketing at Grab, as well as to boost Tinder’s profile in the SEA, which currently has over 50 million users across the globe.
In spite of the high levels of digital, mobile, and social media use in the region though, not all types of technology, mobile apps included, are embraced in the region. A share of the population in the SEA remains reluctant, if not totally averse, to using Tinder, a hookup app, and is still leaning towards the more subdued dating approach that they are accustomed to.
This collaboration may be Tinder’s way to gradually ease users into the app, where they do not necessarily have to be romantically linked to their match. The campaign, which launched in five SEA countries—Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Vietnam, simply allows users to “swipe right” to any of the featured personalities whom they are interested in sharing a Grab ride with. These personalities include models and YouTube stars.
On the other hand, Grab can really use the publicity in order to compete with its archrival, American-owned Uber, which reportedly provides for a more lucrative benefit system to its drivers. This makes it a tougher competition as it vies for a bigger share in both workforces and customers.
Still, mixed reviews have been posted by users and non-users alike on their respective social media accounts using the hashtag #GrabxTinder. While some are clearly amused by the promotional campaign, others are a little confused and hesitant to “Grab” a ride, asking whether the promotional campaign was legitimate. After all, nobody really saw this collaboration coming.
The top personalities, likewise, have been posting photos of them with their “matches” doing various activities including coffee dates, workout sessions, and artistic activities, in a bid to endorse the campaign, and to seemingly answer the question on whether the promotion was real.
In the end, it does not matter so much as to how this queer deal has affected the digital users in the region. The fact that this marketing gimmick is stirring up people’s interest is already a step towards brand awareness and has already driven a share in the industry to try either or both apps out of curiosity. The rest may highly depend on personal preference or quality of customer service but what is more important now is that it got them to sign up for these apps.