How often has someone just sent you a message that said "hey"? Maybe you weren't even lucky enough to get punctuation or capitalization with it. Maybe you were the one who sent such a bare-bones message.
All the chatter around dating, and more specifically online dating, now has a new podcast home. Gimlet Creative, the branch of Gimlet Media that creates both the interstitial ads you hear in its podcasts and entire branded series, worked with Tinder to create a branded podcast all about dating mishaps.
"It's not just about Tinder," said Nazanin Rafsanjani, creative director at Gimlet Media and head of Gimlet Creative. "It's about all the things people are confronting on Tinder or on any other dating app."
DTR, which stands for "define the relationship," premiered this week with an episode titled "Hey" and will run as an eight-week series with each episode focusing on a different dating-related topic.
Making branded podcasts can be tricky because "no one's gonna listen to it if it feels like an ad," Rafsanjani said. "We're lucky that the companies we work with get that, too. It's not in their best interest, so we aim to make sure we're telling a story that's relevant to the brand."
She added, "We want to make something that anyone would want to listen to."
Tinder CMO Ferrell McDonald said, "We're constantly sharing podcasts with each other at the office. We were fortunate enough to find a great partner in Gimlet who got what we want to accomplish—telling original, relevant and compelling stories."
Rafsanjani recognizes that podcasting is an intimate experience for listeners. People opt in to shows and specific episodes unlike TV audiences who often come across programming passively.
"Try to make something people can connect to and that feels real to them—that's the challenge, and that's what we're aiming for," she said.
Just as podcasting is up close and personal with people, so is dating. As The Wall Street Journal noted, the use of GIFs on Tinder tends to help messages come across better, especially ones of Joey from Friends saying, "How you doin'?" It's just two words more than "hey," but it seems to be a popular way to break the ice.
"The rules of dating are constantly evolving," McDonald said. "People are experiencing new challenges and naturally have questions that they may be hesitant to ask and new experiences that they want to share but might not have had the appropriate platform to—until now."
McDonald continued, "We hope our audience will be inspired by other people's successes and failures, because that's what makes us human. … And that's what makes modern relationships so interesting."