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FOX Renews “The Mindy Project” Because of Tinder?

You’re waiting in line at the grocery store. It’s a super long line, so you take to your phone to cruise Tinder for babes when you recognize a familiar face. No, it’s not that lurker friend of yours you’ve been trying to avoid. It’s that one girl from “The Office.” The one who always talked about diversity and shopping and was in love with B.J. Novak. No, Mindy Kaling did not join Tinder, but the character she plays did.

Mindy Kaling’s new FOX show, “The Mindy Project,” has struggled to find an audience since it debuted in 2012. The creative campaign is doing exactly what it’s supposed to do: It’s creating a buzz around a struggling show.

The buzz stems from two of the show’s most-beloved characters, who “created” profiles on Tinder. Danny and Mindy’s profiles are completely true to character, and when you’re matched with one of them, you’re sent a link to a video of them describing their perfect mate. All of the messaging encourages you to “get to know them better” by tuning in to “The Mindy Project” on FOX.

While marketers and social media lovers have praised the innovative use of the app, many Tinder users were perturbed by the sponsored content. Calling it an invasion of privacy, Tinder users have threatened to delete the app, though only time will tell if they do. In similar fashion, Mashable reported that the HBO hit “Girls” is now on Snapchat, the mobile-to-mobile photo-sharing service.

An advertising tool that had previously left marketers scratching their heads, the show is using Snapchat to send fans reminders about upcoming episodes, as well as shots of the stars from the red carpet.

The Tinder ad campaign worked for “The Mindy Project”: It generated buzz, gained viewers, helped the show get renewed for a third season and impressed marketers with its clever use of permission marketing. While some users are put off by permission marketing (and its ugly cousin, interruption marketing), many advertisers feel that this type of marketing is more efficient because the recipient already has an interest in the product or company.

Regardless of how you feel about it, marketers are going to continue to use permission-based marketing to gain facetime with target demographics, and we can only expect more creative advertising on niche platforms.

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