A real Dick move by Plenty of Fish

Who: Plenty of Fish, with One Twenty Three West for strategy and creative, Mrs.&Mr for rebranding, and Crafted Communications for PR.

What: “The Gallery of Dick Picks,” a global marketing campaign that uses the all-too-common Internet phenomenon of “dick pics” to show how it can provide a more welcoming and respectful dating app experience.

When & Where: The campaign is highlighted by a totally SFW “Gallery of Dick Pics” microsite showing pictures of the various Dicks (AKA Richards) that populate the Plenty of Fish site. The campaign is also using connected TV, plus social and digital, while influencers will direct people to the virtual gallery with conversations around how online dating can be better.

Why: The campaign is intended to drive awareness of Plenty of Fish while also positioning it as a “nice and respectful” destination for singles, said One Twenty Three West president and CEO, Scot Keith. Plenty of Fish describes itself as the “most welcoming” dating app for singles, saying it’s committed to ensuring that users feel welcomed, safe and free to be themselves.

The campaign is intended to promote healthier ways for daters to interact on the platform, said chief marketing officer Christina Kozloff. While the app has always banned photo sharing, it decided to address the issue more directly through this humorous campaign.

The campaign comes as Plenty of Fish, one of the OG dating apps, has been overtaken by rival brands that sprang up in its wake. In its (U.S. focused) State of Dating Apps report for 2021, SensorTower pegged the nearly 20-year-old service’s market share at 5%, well below Tinder (40%) and Bumble (19%).

The age of the “dick pic”: With literally everyone having a phone in their pocket—and some 50.42% of the global population possessing the requisite appendage—the “Dick Pic” has become a fact of life in the modern era.

According to research conducted for Plenty of Fish by OnePoll, 56% of singles who are dating today have received unsolicited nudes (a few years ago, one Reddit user calculated that there are 2.87 dick pics sent worldwide every second). As Mashable so artfully opined in 2018, we’ve living in “the golden age of penis portraiture.”

The “Dick Pic” phenomenon has been studied by science, while the social platforms have attempted to stomp them out (although that didn’t stop Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee from posting an uncensored picture of his twig and berries to Instagram this past summer) and written about with a combination of mirth, scholarly detachment, and of course, a how-to (oh Cosmo, you smutty so-and-so, don’t ever change).

How: The virtual gallery features Plenty of Fish users named Richard who are divided into galleries devoted to “Hairy Dicks,” “Shaved Dicks,” “Big Dicks,” (men over six feet tall), “Wild Dicks” and “Sensitive Dicks” (the type of Dick you can take home to your parents). Interspersed throughout the gallery are factoids relating to the dick pic phenomenon, such as the fact that men send women 70% more dick pics than flowers.

A new-look Plenty of Fish: The campaign is also accompanied by a rebrand that replaces Plenty of Fish’s original fuchsia, turquoise and navy colour scheme with salmon, black and white, which is designed to help it “pop” on phones and in app stores. The company has also updated the website, app UI and UX to enhance the user experience. A new tagline, “How Dating Should Be,” is designed to reflect the app’s friendlier, more welcoming experience.

“Dating has rapidly changed over the past few years,” said director of brand marketing Mitra Shad. “To ensure that the Plenty of Fish experience aligns with evolving dating trends and preferences, we’re focused on introducing new and fun features like live streaming to make dating better and more inviting.”

And we quote: “At Plenty of Fish, we want a dating community that is respected and respectful. Sending unsolicited nudes is offensive and categorically wrong. While we ban photo sharing on our app and encourage members to report anyone who violates our policies off-app, we want to address this issue directly. As a result, we are launching this campaign to promote healthier ways for daters to interact so that unwanted photos are never sent in the first place.” —Christina Kozloff, chief marketing officer, Plenty of Fish

Chris Powell