Children's charity Plan UK is taking over dating app Happn for one day to highlight the plight of child marriage
Even if we don’t like to admit it, everyone who’s single has downloaded some form of dating app at one time or another; be in Tinder, Happn or Hinge. The choice is seemingly unlimited and evenings can often consist of endless options and mindless swiping. Well, imagine having no choice at all in who you date… or even marry.
With over 400,000 current users, real-life dating ‘super-app’ Happn has taken the initiative and joined forces with global children’s charity Plan UK for a one-day takeover, to demonstrate what it really feels like to be left with no choice. When users log in to the dating app today, instead of being able to track down the cute barrister they saw at their local coffee shop, or someone they met at a party over the weekend as usual; they’ll keep seeing the option of ‘Mark, 32′. A stunt profile, created on behalf of the charity by agency J. Walter Thompson London, will repeatedly appear on their timeline with a message that reads, ‘When we’re free to date whoever we like, it’s hard to imagine only having one option. So whether you like Mark or not, he’s sticking around.’
Through the world’s biggest girls’ rights campaign Because I am a Girl, Plan UK hopes to highlight the severity of child marriage and the unlimited options available to the majority in girls in the UK that simply aren’t an option for millions of child brides, where every day 41,000 girls are married without their consent.
This very real problem that affects around 15 million girls globally every year, is mostly seen in rural areas of Bangladesh, Pakistan and Indonesia, with recent studies revealing that one in four girls in Bangladesh is married by the age of 14. Child brides are often forced to drop out of school, have children before they are ready and are often subjected to violence and abuse.
The charity’s decision to team up with the dating app that launched in early 2014, with 8 million members worldwide and over 400,000 in London alone, is the first of its kind. Users will have the option of signing up to the campaign through the app when they log in today, and CEO Tanya Barron hopes that, ‘Through collective action, we can bring an end to child marriage and empower girls to fulfil their own potential.’
Explaining the anticipated effectiveness of the campaign,
Will Brookwell and Will Helm,
two of the creatives at the ad agency behind the stunt have noted that, ‘The best way to talk to people about lack of choice would be in the place where they have the most freedom.’