Tinder's 'Swipe Night' wins an Entertainment Grand Prix at Cannes Lions

Interactive apocalypse game told people about themselves and their matches

Published On
Oct 06, 2019

Editor's Pick

Tinder's "Swipe Night" has won a Grand Prix in the Entertainment Lions category at Cannes 2021.

The video series prompted users to make choices in the last hours of their lives, as an apocalyptic event threatened to destroy the entire world. Created via 72andSunny, it originally launched in 2019 in the U.S. and rolled out internationally in 2020.

Jury President Jae Goodman, CEO of Observatory, said of the campaign: "In a moment where Tinder users around the world were restricted from the human contact Tinder is built to create, the teams at Tinder and 72andSunny turned the platform into one for entertainment. The fact that the key product feature – swiping – is key to the storytelling and places the user in control just like they are when using Tinder itself was much-discussed by the jury. Moreover, the entertainment then fueled more connection as people who chose similar story outcomes were then connected to each other. And, of course, the insight is terrific: it’s the last night of the world, what do we do? “Connect” via Tinder. Last, the entertainment itself was not only wildly entertaining but also wonderfully well-crafted."

Jurors decided on two Grand Prix, one for 2020 and one for 2021. Tinder won for 2020 while Sinyi Realty's "In Love We Trust" won for 2021.

Original story: 

Each Sunday night in October, dating app Tinder is running its first interactive event, a video series that prompts users to make choices in the last hours of their lives, as an apocalyptic event threatens to destroy the entire world.

The adventure, told within the app from a first-person perspective, begins at the door to a house party, where your friends have gathered to watch a unique astronomical event, the close passage of Linklater’s Comet. Using the familiar “swipe,” users are presented with choices and have seven seconds to make a decision. Options range from questions of taste (picking what music to play) to moral decisions (Do you tell your friend that her boyfriend is cheating on her?) to questions of survival.

Of course, the comet ends up on a collision course with the Earth. As panic ensues across the globe, the tension rises, and decisions become more fraught. Do you save a person or a dog? Hitch a ride or steal the car? The story is also told through text messages from “friends” and emergency alerts that enhance the immersion of the experience, which was created by 72andSunny.

The first episode, which premieres Oct. 6 at 6:00 p.m., runs six minutes, and ends with just three hours left before impact. Each of the following three episodes runs five minutes, and reduces the time left until Armageddon by an hour.

The creative team considered several possibilities before crafting an end-of-the-world scenario, like a trip to Mars or going back in time. “We landed on the apocalypse idea because we’ve seen people use it as a jumping-off point on dates already,” says Jenny Campbell, chief marketing officer at Tinder. “What would you do if you had one hour to live?”

Those choices help users find new matches. After each episode, people who played will be presented with the profiles of people who made the same or similar decisions. “We wanted the choices you make to say something about you,” Campbell says.

In keeping with the ephemeral nature of the Tinder experience, users can only play each episode and find matches once, and each episode is only available between 6:00 p.m. and midnight each Sunday night. “You only get one chance to be spontaneous in life,” says Matt Murphy, executive creative director and partner at 72andSunny. “There are no do-overs.”

Sunday night is prime Tinder-using time, of course, as people prep for the coming week by scrolling through potential matches. Half of the app’s users are now between the ages of 18 and 25, so the can’t-miss event is meant to invoke potential FOMO. “If this is the water cooler conversation on Monday morning, we’ve done our job,” Murphy says.

Though users ultimately experience a little more than 20 minutes of content, the multiple avenues for the storyline required more than two hours of footage, directed by Karena Evans, best known for her work with Drake.

Snapchat also released a Swipe Night lens—the first that lets users swipe to change the look, complete with the split-screen effect that indicates choices in the game. A Swipe Night filter also went live timed with the first episode.