Dating app Thursday found itself in a tough position in 2021, trying to attract young users in a saturated market where competitors like Tinder and Bumble already have a strong presence. Additionally, many young people are now using social media instead of dating apps to meet new people. To set itself apart, Thursday decided to tap into the feeling of "dating app fatigue" that many young people are experiencing, as well as the frustration of spending hours chatting on apps without ever actually meeting in person.
The concept behind Thursday is simple: the app can only be used on Thursdays, and users are encouraged to plan a date for that same evening. This idea resonates with young people who are excited to go out and socialize after the restrictions of the pandemic, and it also addresses the common complaints about the time-consuming nature of other dating apps. By limiting the app's availability to just one day a week, Thursday encourages users to make the most of their time on the app and actually plan real-life dates, rather than getting caught up in endless messaging without any tangible progress.
However, Thursday's efforts to differentiate itself don't stop at the product itself. The company is also focusing on creative marketing strategies to grab the attention of its target audience. Recently, one of these campaigns went viral, thanks to the efforts of a student intern from Bulla Co named Anya Jackson.
As part of her "internship," Jackson was given a budget of £25 and tasked with generating as many app downloads as possible. She accomplished this through a series of PR stunts that gained widespread attention on LinkedIn, doubling the app's weekly downloads from 2000. Jackson's stunts included tying herself to a pole and covering herself in balloons, and her LinkedIn post about the experience gained over 1.5 million impressions.
The viral nature of Jackson's campaign is a testament to the power of creative, effort-driven marketing in standing out in a crowded field. While social media is an important tool for raising awareness among young people, this campaign shows that there are many more routes to success than simply designing the best meme or perfecting paid social targeting. When a brand puts real effort into its marketing campaigns, it's more likely to be remembered by its target audience, even if they don't take the desired action (in this case, downloading the app).
In a sea of generic brand content, Thursday's unique product and creative marketing efforts have helped it stand out and attract a new audience. While it remains to be seen how the app will fare in the long term, the success of Jackson's campaign is a reminder that there are many ways to capture the attention of young people, and that effort and creativity can go a long way. Thursday's strategy of focusing on a unique product and creative marketing efforts is one that other startups can learn from as they try to stand out in a saturated market.
Enjoy these bite-sized marketing nuggets? Check out more from the blog here, or subscribe to our sporadic email newsletter.