Meet Market(ing)

Brand campaigns connect consumers for first dates

While young people are digitally savvy, their diminished EQ (emotional intelligence) makes it challenging to form love connections in the modern age. As a result, they’re looking to brands to help bring them together. While some have mimicked dating apps, others have addressed singles’ Pairing Off mentality and found ways to make matches in person by leveraging individuals’ common interests.


It turns out that grocery stores are in fact hotbeds for singles, and Tesco found a way to bring together those looking for love through their shopping habits. The chain asked willing singles what they would buy for a Friday night at home and then matched people based on similarities of their purchases, the theory being that if they like the same food, they may have more in common. Tesco connected 16 couples from four segments—younger, older, gay men, and gay women—four of which went on dates. While only half of those resulted in successful connections, it’s still a better success rate than, say, Tinder.


On this past Valentine’s Day, Virgin Trains created a literal “love train” for singles making the trip from London King’s Cross to York. The first 24 passengers to book a single ticket for the Love Carriage were granted seats for a unique speed dating experience. The mood in the train car was set with romantic music, red roses, and Prosecco, and riders were encouraged to swap seats to meet each other throughout the trip. To aid the love connections, Virgin brought Fred Sirieix of the TV show First Dates on board, providing his expert advice to the single travelers.


Food has long been a great connector, and Knorr believes it can also be the basis for a romantic match. The brand launched a #LoveAtFirstTaste campaign in which people can determine their personal flavor profiles such as “salty adventurer,” “sweet sensualist,” and “tangy dynamo.” The brand then used singles’ profiles to pair several couples that had never met to share a romantic dinner. The only catch was that they had to feed each other the decadent meals placed before them. The funny and charming video of their encounters reveals that flavors can indeed stir one’s emotions—one of the couples is now ensconced in a relationship.