Eharmony Focuses on 'Radical Honesty' Over Treacly Romance in New Ads

The work, from agency Party Land, rejects ad tropes in the category in favor of 'refreshingly goofy moments'

It’s no secret that collaboration is essential to growth, but the how of it isn’t always so clear—and it's the understanding of how that is a true competitive advantage. Join Adweek X, a uniquely formatted event on December 4 in LA, to unlock fresh perspectives, true collaboration and growth.

Freshly showered and wrapped in a towel, a man takes a peek in the bathroom mirror and realizes there’s a giant blemish on his shoulder that he can’t quite reach. His solution is to ask his boo to play a round of Dr. Pimple Popper.

All together now: Awww, so sweet.

While this may not look like a romantic scenario, a new campaign for eharmony insists otherwise. In fact, the dating platform has chosen an approach it calls “radically honest” with creative that’s intended to back up the tagline, “Get Who Gets You.”

At its core, the work aims to capture the “cringingly vulnerable and refreshingly goofy moments” that happen in couple’s everyday lives, per the brand.

In the video series, launching today, separate spots highlight a woman who helps her partner mourn the death of a beloved houseplant and a man who goes into DJ mode to cheer up his significant other after a lousy day at work.

“Real romance isn’t about candlelit dinners and hot passion all the time,” Natalia Fredericks, creative director at eharmony’s agency Party Land, told Adweek. “It’s found in the real intimacy that comes with being allowed to truly be yourself when you’re deeply understood by your partner. It’s not about grand gestures—it’s about depth.”

A dead houseplant and other everyday scenarios power the new eharmony campaign.

Party Land, an Adweek breakthrough agency of the year finalist that won the legacy brand’s business in 2022, wanted to steer clear of advertising tropes in the category that emphasize Insta-ready duos in picture-perfect situations. Instead, creatives wanted to highlight “the genuine side we all experience but never glamorize,” per Fredericks.

Unsexy moments

The effort is in line with eharmony’s goal of helping daters “express their personality and individuality so they can make genuine connections where they feel comfortable being themselves, per Patrick Moore, brand lead.

The target audience—daters in their mid-20s to mid-40s—would gravitate more to “the decidedly unsexy yet humorous intimate moments that happen behind the closed doors of a relationship between two people who feel fully loved, seen and understood,” Fredericks said, citing brand research.

In a recent study from Harris Interactive, commissioned by eharmony, respondents said they want someone to laugh with (40%) and be their whole self with (38%). They seek a partnership with someone who makes life more fun (64%) and wants to share small moments (54%). Meaningful connections stem from honesty and when “they take the time to get to know me.”

The agency culled from its own experiences for the videos, directed by indie filmmaker Emma Seligman (Bottoms, Shiva Baby) with an assist from her frequent collaborator, cinematographer Maria Rusche.

As a pioneer in the online dating space—where it says it has aided some 2 million people in “finding real love”—the brand is updating its message because “dating has changed,” Fredericks said, “so has ‘love’ and the way we talk about it within culture.”

Along with the ads, there’s a concurrent rollout of revamped imagery, including a more modern color palette and minimalist icon.

“Get Who Gets You,” the first significant eharmony campaign since last year, will air on streaming platforms such as Hulu, Tube and PlutoTV and linear television networks in the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and Australia. Other support will come from podcast advertising, digital and social media buys.

Enjoying Adweek's Content? Register for More Access!