HMH Awards: Match

By Dana Thomas | Digital and Social Media Strategist

CATEGORY: Looking low (really low) to help us laugh and love in 2020 and beyond

RECIPIENT: Match.com

Let’s be honest: 2020 has been one HELL of a year. Between dealing with a worldwide pandemic, wildfires, hurricanes and a contentious election cycle here in the U.S., people are naturally worn down – and at times, feeling low and lonely. The things we’re used to doing to lift our spirits – meeting up with friends, traveling to new places, celebrating holidays with extended family – have been cruelly put on pause. And if you’re a single person during this time? Well, dating has been virtually impossible, unless you’re fine with having a meet-cute over a FaceTime call.

Leave it to Match to save the day. They’ve taken our collective frown and turned it upside-down with a very clever and irreverent ad showing that love is possible in 2020 – even if it means pairing the Dark Prince with a woman clothed in athleisure and sporting grown-out highlights. The agency that produced these spots is owned by none other than Ryan Reynolds, who has made a career out of his sarcasm, wit and charm. All the key elements are here: stealing toilet paper, picnics in empty football stadiums and watching movies alone in a theater. Then they added in a special element, a re-recorded version of a Taylor Swift song about small-town romance between a modern-day Romeo and Juliet. (Taylor has her own woes given that her early albums were sold against her will by her previous record company, who owned all the rights to the material. The re-recording of her old albums, now owned exclusively by Swift, will hopefully devalue the original recordings and send listeners to seek out the new ones. The partnership with Reynolds’ ad only amplifies her music.)

Match released a follow-up ad as well, this time showcasing the “happy” couple testimonial-style, recounting how they’re so glad they found each other via the app. The woman, known as 2020, even says, “I just want to be remembered.” Believe me, 2020, we will never forget you. And the final chef’s kiss? Encouraging Match users to keep the faith and know that 2021 will bring more joy and love.