Friday, October 2, 2015

Will a billboard associating Tinder with STDs motivate people to go for a free test?

As we discussed in class, online dating has gone mainstream.  A 2013 poll conducted by the Pew Research Center found that 59% of Americans now believe the internet is a perfectly respectable place to seek out partners. (Firger, 2015)

Unfortunately, at the same time, some recent data from the health departments of Rhode Island and Houston have shown an increase in STDs for 2014 vs. 2013, after declines tracking back to 2009.  The numbers are alarming.  In Rhode Island syphilis increased by 79%, HIV by 33% and gonorrhea by 30%.  Similar data has been released in Wales, and the Philippines, suggesting this is a global trend. (Sass, 2015)

Clearly some kind of awareness building campaign for safe sex is overdue.

This week the AIDS Healthcare Foundation decided to take matters into their own hands and released this billboard on more than 20 locations and 100 bus benches in Los Angeles.

Tinder immediately sent a cease and desist letter to the foundation.

The foundation responded by declining to remove the references to Tinder saying: "AHF has not made any false or disparaging statements against Tinder and therefore has no reason to cease making any such statements."  (Ziv, 2015)

I guess we'll have to see what happens next. 

In the meantime however, what do you think?  What are they trying to accomplish?  And, will this be an effective campaign?   

Keeping in mind the audience for the effort and what we have learned about persuasion, can you think of a more effective way to motivate people to get their free checkups?

Firger, J. (2015, May 30)  Should Dating Apps Help Promote Safe Sex?  Retrieved October 1, 2015, from

Sass, E. (2015, September 29)  Tinder Wants STD Billboard Removed.  Retrieved October 1, 2015, from

Ziv, S. (2015, September 30)  Tinder Clashes With AIDS Healthcare Foundation Over STD Billboard.  Retrieved October 1, 2015, from

Friday, September 25, 2015

If Kenneth Cole embraces social causes you care about will you embrace them?

Since its founding 32 years ago, Kenneth Cole has sought to raise awareness of various social causes -- in the early years, it was AIDS awareness, more recently -- gun control.  So, one could say that it is part of the brand's DNA.  But it appears that Millennials don't know that.

So, the company is revamping its brand identity to make themselves relevant to a new generation.

To this end, the company has increased media spending by 25%, and is updating its logo.  The new campaign shot by Glen Luchford, features real social media activists like transgender woman and model Andreja Pejic.  Here's one of the videos.

They also launched a flagship store downtown that's open 24/7 -- by appointment. 

So what do you think?  Will Millennials embrace this brand as their Baby Boomer parents once did?  And what about being able to call and make an appointment to have them open the store for you?  Will this be a hit with consumers?

Monllos, K. (2015, September 24)  Kenneth Cole Is Revamping Its Brand Identity by Embracing Its Activist Past.  Retrieved September 24, 2015, from