13 million give up online dating – Match.com hopes “A Match Made in Hell” ad brings them back

For many Americans, 2020 has been a year from hell. Dating service Match.com has taken that cue and leveraged it as part of a humorous ad campaign that pairs Satan with 2020 personified as his new-found love. Satan says he used Match’s search function to “filter out joy, happiness, toilet paper, and reason.” The commercial ends with the tagline, “Make 2021 your year.”

Dating and social distancing during a global pandemic are completely at odds with one another, so sites like Match.com, OkCupid, eHarmony, and others have experienced dips in usage. Interpret’s New Media Measure® shows that year-over-year, from Q3 2019 to Q3 2020, the percentage of US consumers who have used a dating site in the past 30 days fell 4 percentage points from 21% to 17%, meaning roughly 13 million fewer people tried to find romance via online dating services in 2020.

For the many who have put dating on hold and are waiting for it to be safe again, Match.com’s forward-looking ad spot is a smart play. The ad reflects actor Ryan Reynolds’ dry sense of humor, since it was created by his production studio, Maximum Effort. Reynolds joined the board of Match Group over the summer, a firm that controls not only Match.com, but Tinder, OkCupid, and Hinge.

“Match is responsible for bringing millions of people together and even in this dumpster fire of a year, people somehow found love on Match,” Reynolds told AdWeek. “We just imagined what a ‘2020 match’ would look like and this video was the natural, slightly warped result. Also, this stuff gives me something to think about during the board meetings.”