Tinder Traces the History of Dating to Caveman Times in Gorgeously Detailed Animated Spot

Production shop Buck built real sets, shot over eight weeks

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Dating: So easy, a caveman can do it?

Since the dawn of time, human beings have been yearning for connection. Over the years, we’ve only made it more and more difficult to find. Or, at least, so says a new spot from Tinder and production spot Buck, which posits that Tinder isn’t so much an app for casual hookups but one that makes finding that human connection once again plausible.

The 75-second, animated spot is elaborate and lush, imbuing romance into the setting. Buck used physical sets with computer generated characters, which required a month of shooting and eight weeks of postproduction. Tinder plans to roll the spot out online in various markets, according to Buck. It already debuted online in South Korea at the end of December.

“Tinder came to us with the concept,” said Ryan Honey, executive creative director at Buck in Los Angeles. “They wanted to create a brand spot that shed a bit of a different light on Tinder and was more about people coming together. It’s more about this history of relationships throughout mankind.” 

The initial script had references to handmade items, like wool, which gave the shop the idea to use real sets with computer-generated characters. Another element the shop used to drive home the idea of connection to the past was to make each of the characters from the same body. “One of the concepts that we had was that all of mankind is from the same place and I guess to make the characters feel like they were all one family. So if you watch, the caveman [bodies] are the same as the modern-day characters’ [bodies],” noted Honey. 

A rep for Tinder did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Client: Tinder
Executive Creative Director: Kevin Butler
Producer: Heather Michaels
Spot: Invention of Together
Production Company: Buck
Executive Creative Director: Ryan Honey
Executive Producer: Maurie Enochson
Creative Director: Joe Mullen
Head of CG: Doug Wilkinson
Producers: Nick Terzich, Emily Rickard, Post Producer, Kaitlyn Mahoney
Production Managers: Danielle Suarez, Cody Ross
Production Coordinator: Solana Braun
Animation Director: Alex Ceglia
Art Director: Richard Gray
Storyboards: Vincent Tsui, Joe Mullen
Character Designers: Tony Legato, Jerry Suh
Concept Artists: Debora Cruchon, Vincent Tsui, Elaine Lee, Jigyu Yoon, Dae-Han Yi, Lauren Gaballo
VFX Supervisors: Marc Steinberg, Jens Lindgren
CG Lead: Alex Dingfelder
Hair & Fur: Wing Sze Lee, Michele Herrera
CG Modeling & Look Development: Alex Dingfelder, Michele Herrera, Wing Sze Lee, John Niehuss, Jens Lindgren, Arvid Volz, Meng-Chwn Tien, Sana Srinivasan, Brice Linane, Joao Rema, Elijah Akouri, Ana Luisa Santos, Christina Faulkner
Rigging: Ernesto Ruiz Velasco, Alex Mann, Xiong Lin
Compositing Lead: Marc Steinberg
Lighting & Compositing: Alex Dingfelder, Wing Sze Lee, Jens Lindgren, Michele Herrera, John Niehuss, Elliot Brennan
Character Animation: Tyler Lancaster, Dony Permedi, Adam Floeck, Alex Ceglia, Peter DeSalvo, Eric Molina, Nicole Ridgwell, William Trebutien, Sana Srinivasan
2D Animation: Moses Journey
Directors of Photography: Tripp Watt, Jonpaul Douglass
Set Design & Lighting: Richard Gray, Jenna Watt, Tripp Watt
Assistant Fabricator: Josh Lopata
Additional Grips/Gaffers: Matt Wheat
Brody Engelhard
Production Assistants: Josh Lopata, Madeline Rocco, Gianni Consiglio, Diego Lizarazu, Jon Brogan
Music: The Teenage Diplomat

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@KristinaMonllos kristina.monllos@adweek.com Kristina Monllos is a senior editor for Adweek.