Match.com & eHarmony Ads Heat Up Ahead of Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day is here, and love is in the air. At least, that’s the hope of dating sites that are taking aim at singles looking for a serious relationship. Data from our ad intelligence tool, Pathmatics Explorer, shows that the top 3 advertisers in the Dating category spent nearly $7M on digital ads from January 1 through February 1, 2022. Let’s take a closer look at how Match.com, eHarmony, and Tawkify advertised as Valentine’s Day approached this year.
Previously we looked at Match.com as the top digital spender in the dating category in early 2021. This year, the online dating service has spent $3.64M on digital ads from January 1 to February 5. That’s less than the same time frame last year ($4.98M), but still puts Match in the #1 spot in terms of ad spend.
Most of Match.com’s budget went toward social advertising, with 49% on Facebook and 68% across all social media sites. As we noted last year, Match.com’s Facebook ads pursued men (64%) more than women (36%). Another 18% of Match’s budget went toward OTT ads, which appeared mainly on Tubi and Hulu, while display ads made up the remaining 14%.
Most of Match.com’s top creatives are video spots that revolve around how dating as an adult is different than in high school or college. According to Match’s own 2021 Singles in America survey, which came out in November, “singles want emotional maturity more than looks, sex, or money”. Knowing this, it makes sense that Match.com’s ads are inviting singles to “date like you aren’t 22 anymore”.
While Match.com has been somewhat lukewarm about digital advertising leading up to Valentine’s Day this year, eHarmony has been turning up the heat. The dating service spent $2.32M this year, compared to $668K last year — a 247% increase.
Some of this might have to do with the fact that Pathmatics now offers OTT ad intelligence since 79% of eHarmony’s digital advertising budget is spent on OTT. Like Match.com, most of these ads appeared on Hulu and Tubi. Only 3% of its budget went toward social ads on Facebook.
eHarmony’s “Real Love” campaign reflects a growing understanding that today’s daters are looking for more than just a casual fling for V-Day. Top creatives ranged from video spots about the ups and downs of a modern relationship, to display ads featuring the phrase “here for real love”.
Like eHarmony, Tawkify’s spending has been on fire this year. The matchmaking service for single professionals has spent 179% more so far in 2022 ($1.87M) than it did in early 2021 ($671K), solidifying its spot as the #3 spender in the Dating category behind Match.com and eHarmony.
While Tawkify’s spending has gone up, its ad mix hasn’t changed all that much. Social media still make up the majority of its spend, with 73% on Facebook and 26% on Instagram. Facebook targeting data reveals that, like Match.com, Tawkify is mainly targeting male audiences (70%) with high spend in metro areas like New York, Los Angeles, and Dallas. Tawkify touts itself as “a modern dating services company created for single professionals”, so it makes sense that the dating service is spending more to reach daters in large urban cities.
Tawkify’s top creatives have a spicy attitude toward traditional dating services, with creative text such as “This is not a dating app” and “Stop swiping”. Clearly Tawkify, which uses humans rather than computers to match people, isn’t afraid to go head-to-head with Match.com and eHarmony in order to win hearts.
Interestingly, none of the dating services we looked at specifically mentioned Valentine’s Day. Instead, they all seem to be courting singles who are looking for a serious commitment. Match.com and Tawkify have continued their long-term relationship with social media advertising, while eHarmony’s love affair with OTT is backed up by a hefty digital ad budget.
Sensor Tower data reveals that dating app usage is up nearly 20% in the month leading up to Valentine's Day 2022 compared to pre-pandemic levels, so it’ll be interesting to see how these three brands’ ad strategies evolve once the holiday is over. In the meantime, if you want to know how your favorite brands and competitors are advertising, Pathmatics Explorer is a match made in heaven. Schedule your custom insights session today!
After she earned her BS in Business Administration and Marketing, Pam spent time in the non-profit industry developing skills in digital marketing and creating digital content for two years. She then made the transition to content marketing for San Francisco start ups.