How we made Match Machine MTV’s most successful digital campaign ever

All people had to do was press a button to find out which of their friends was a perfect match. The spot-on result provoked powerful emotions and every time a match was shared, it intrigued more people. The viral effect made Match Machine a global success.

Dating shows face stiff competition and our challenge was to create hype and drive awareness of the “Are you the one?” season premiere on a small budget. The strategy was to use insights into the behaviour of the target group on Facebook to trigger their curiosity. The solution was the Facebook app, Match Machine. At the touch of a button people were able to find out which of their friends was a perfect match. The spot-on result provoked powerful emotions and every time a match was shared it intrigued more people, going viral and eventually attracting 84 million people.

Match Machine

Challenge

MTV Sweden commissioned us to launch the flagship show “Are you the one?”, a brand new dating programme in which 20 singles get the chance to find their perfect partner – with a twist. Before the show all 20 guests had undergone a scientific matching test and their challenge was to find their own perfect match from among the other participants.

Dating shows are a highly competitive format and our challenge was to create anticipation among the target group and drive awareness of the season premiere with only a small budget and create a format that could easily translate to markets beyond Sweden.

Are you the one?
Participants in the first season of “Are you the one?”

Insight

Because the programme was about romance and dating, we focused on a platform on which a large proportion of the target group’s love life is played out today – Facebook.

The strategy was to offer insights into how we flirt with each other on Facebook, and use this to create entertaining content to attract the interest of the target group.

Solution

The Facebook app, Match Machine. By pressing a button, the app’s sophisticated algorithm found out which of your own friends was your perfect match, based on a number of parameters and indicating whether users were interested in each other.

Match Machine-kod
The app’s algorithm reveals which of your friends is your perfect match.

As visitors waited eagerly for Match Machine’s verdict, we seized our chance to show the trailer for the programme and explain the concept.

The result, which proved surprisingly accurate, triggered powerful emotions in users and led to many of them choosing to share their match. When the shares started to pop up in the target group’s Facebook feeds their friends were intrigued and the viral effect took off.

Match Machine 2.0
Match Machine 2.0

Outcome

The campaign was first launched on the Swedish market but the viral effect meant that it quickly spread further and became a global success. When it reached Spain it really took off. In just one night the app gained more than a million Spanish users, which in turn saw Match Machine spread to South America and then on to the US – just in time for Valentine’s Day.

The success of Match Machine gave viewing figures such a boost that the programme is now heading for its second season, marketed as Match Machine 2.0 – an upgrade to the Match Machine app recently launched in 30 markets worldwide.

As well as being shared on Facebook, the app’s runaway success led to exposure on Twitter, and also in the traditional press. The app was a big story in the international media, where the Huffington Post described it best: “MTV’s ‘Match Machine’ Is Weirdly Accurate At Finding Your One True Love”.

Visits to the app: More than 36 million
Number of matches: More than 84 million
Shares on Facebook: More than 7 million, approximately 19% of hits
Views on Facebook: More than 834 million
Other stats: 75% of Facebook users were in the target 13–24 age group
Match Machine was the third top search term on MTV.com during the campaign period.