Video killed the radio star, but it’s resurrecting the dating lives of Gen Z and Millennials during a pandemic. That is, unless you’re Zoom; the company plans to use machine learning to stop safe virtual sex parties.
Love and relationships can be a struggle, especially so during a mandated quarantine. But some have already had time to adjust and are making it work with the help of dating and relationship apps.
How can brands connect with Gen Z and millennials while also helping them connect with romantic interests at a time when in-person dating is off the table?
Time reported that Bumble’s in-app video chat increased 93% throughout the country between the middle and end of March. Hinge, another dating app, saw a 30% increase in messaging on the app in March, and has since launched a “date from home” feature, which allows consenting matches to chat via video or phone.
Couples, whether quarantined together or isolating apart, are also facing new romantic challenges and need support in maintaining healthy relationships.
We spoke with Lesley Eccles, founder of Relish, a relationship wellness and coaching app, about the importance of relationship health during COVID-19.
“People have been turning to technology for almost everything over the past two months,” said Eccles.
“We’ve created over 450 interactive lessons and activities and quizzes, which is all about relationship wellness and relationship improvement,” she said. “It’s action-based. You have activities you have to do, you share, you learn about each other. Now is the time to invest in your relationship.”
This need for relationship maintenance represents a new whitespace to fill for brands across a range of categories. Young people are seeking dating and relationship help and advice, and they welcome brand input to help them solve personal challenges, even one as intimate as this.
As a brand, how are you both harnessing and supporting this new era of digital intimacy? If young people are telling you what this private aspect of their lives is like, it’s an opportunity to show that you’re listening, and you get it by reflecting this back in your marketing efforts.
Let’s say you’re a car brand, for example. Rather than touting functional benefits such as financing assistance, can you market your car as a “private place” for safe conversations with one’s partner? As many are sheltering with families or roommates and still trying to figure out how to date or conduct a relationship with their partner, this messaging can help further demonstrate cultural relevance to younger consumers.
Just as out-of-home dating will look differently under future social distancing, in-home dating will, too. Prior to COVID-19, going to someone’s apartment or house was a hookup indicator. Going forward, in-home dates will be considered safe ways to date that don’t involve being outside and around crowds and won’t necessarily preclude a casual romantic encounter.
Young people are going to be evolving the format of both types of dates (out-of-home and in-home), and brands need to help them in this endeavor.
A post-COVID-19 date might change from nighttime dinner and drinks to an afternoon hike followed by a late lunch.
This shift will present ramifications for every vertical, from clothing to alcohol to entertainment. Who needs an abundance of fancy date clothes when athleisure is more suitable?
How will your brand approach this new dating landscape?