SXSW visitors catfished in clever Tinder PR stunt to promote movie

By on Monday, March 16, 2015

It’s SXSW – a very popular music, film, and interactive conference held annually in Austin, Texas. All the big tech players and press are there.

A 25 year old woman – Ava – has been cropping up on ‘dating’ (PAAAAH) app Tinder for many, as she is apparently ‘swiping in Austin’.

A friend of Adweek’s Tim Nudd (who wrote about this here) shared a conversation he had with Ava upon matching:

Stilted? Broken? Plain odd?


That’s because ‘Ava’ is a robot asking questions in a bid to understand humans – and the Instagram profile goes through to a profile promoting Ex-Machina, a movie focusing on artificial intelligence, premiering on Saturday night in Austin. The woman in the photos is Swedish actress Alicia Vikander, who stars in the film.

It’s a smart and relevant campaign, reaching a social media-savvy audience. Some might see it as misleading, but as Nudd says, ‘she’s a bot in the movie, so of course she’s a bot on Tinder’.

Here’s a video from the Instagram page promoting the film:

You are dead center of the single greatest scientific event in the history of man. #ExMachina

A video posted by AVA (@meetava) on

Credit: Thanks to PR student Evelyn Anandam for tweeting me with this.

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