Grindr, the Gay Dating App, Hooks Up With Fashion

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Grindr’s purview has admittedly been narrow. The app introduces gay men in the surrounding area who are looking to make a connection — as often as not, a sexual one. Its buffet of thumbnail-size photos is, by design, bare-bones (and, not infrequently, bare-chested). On Sunday, the app live-streamed the fall 2016 men’s wear show of J. W. Anderson as it hits the runway at London Collections: Men, the city’s biannual men’s fashion week.

“I think at the beginning there was a bit of unknowingness, which was stressful,” Jonathan Anderson said. “But I believe in this project. I think it’s very important that brands explore media; I think it’s the only way forward. I don’t see any differentiation between Grindr and Tinder or any sort of dating app, or Instagram. I feel like people now can use any sort of social device to meet people.”

Grindr was the only place to live-stream the show. Users of the app received a link and a code to stream the video, which did not actually play in the app itself, but in phone and tablet browsers. The show was the first time Grindr was experimenting with fashion content, and most likely not the last. According to the company, it now has one million active users on the platform worldwide every minute, and is aiming to broaden its offerings and its appeal. An edited version of the video remained accessible via Grindr for 24 hours following its live debut), Mr. Anderson’s show had been streamed about 100,000 times, about a third of them during the event. 

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Jonathan Anderson (who won British Fashion Awards for both women’s and men’s wear designer of the year in 2015) was always on the forefront of blurring gender and sexuality in his collections and still is. So it is a natural fit for him also to explore new ways and new touchpoints to reach his audience. Gay man play a big role in fashion, so why not livestream the fashion show where gay men are - at Grindr. 
This is also just the beginning of using sexualized platforms for marketing purposes. Diesel's Nicola Formichetti is planning to place underwear ads on Pornhub, YouPorn, Grindr, and Tinder. This unlike choices make sense also from a media reach standpoint. According to Alexa ratings, Pornhub is the 66th most-visited website in the world, and YouPorn is the 172nd. As for the apps, Tinder boasts 1.4 billion swipes per day in 196 countries, while Grindr claims 7 million users worldwide, 1 million of whom are active each minute. That this choices make also headlines and create media buzz, doesn't hurt either. It is defenietly a new way of "Sex sells": less about portraying sex, but using the context of sex as awareness generator.
Find more on: New York Times

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