January 21, 2022

ZATE APP: A Marketplace For Dates In Austin

Frankie Pike

Last July, we directed and produced a superhero-themed commercial for Zate, the new Austin-based dating app with built-in date ideas. The goal of the app is to add some creativity to the world of singles apps and get straight to the point, and those were our guiding principles in creating the commercial.

We spent a full day filming at multiple locations around Austin with a 12-person crew, and we collaborated closely with Zate founder Matt Kashan.


Zate brings dating back to the basics—dating starts with dates. Rather than just swiping on faces, users mark whether they’re interested in going on specific dates with people. Thanks to curated dates on the app, users have some cool ideas to browse.

The brief was to produce a commercial with 15-, 30-, and 60-second cuts to raise awareness about Zate in a lighthearted, tongue-in-cheek manner. The goal was to relate to the isolation people felt during the COVID-19 lockdown (a.k.a. the Pandemic Blues) and illustrate how to use the app to get back into a dating groove.


We needed to create a larger-than-life production to set the tone for the superheroes, who serve as the protagonists of the story. With that in mind, we filled out the Art Department with an A-team crew.

Wardrobe designer Emily Eoff created custom costumes for all the actors, production designer Joscelyn Ponder transformed Native Hostel into a superhero’s messy loft and perfect coffee date location, and hair and makeup artist Olivia Frierson tied it all together. The actors brought the script to life in their own unique and quirky ways.


We told the story of Zuperman, a superhero who has lost his way and left his beloved city in peril. Our hero rediscovers himself through a dating app called Zate. 

Zate is destined to “save your love life” by creating a marketplace for dates. He creates a custom zate, “Coffee and Crimefighting,” and finds his ideal match, Galaxy Girl. Together, they fight crime and find love.


Zuperman: Chase Long
Galaxy Girl: Ellie Main
Mugger: Chad James


Director: Kyle Bogart
Producer: Tony Stolfa 
DP: Tony Stolfa
Production Designer: Joscelyn Ponder
Gaffer: Jonathan Tan
AC: Brent Klein
Grip: Travis Ward
Wardrobe: Emily Eoff
Sound: Tim Dallesandro
HMAU: Olivia Frierson
PA: Adam Gorrell
BTS Photography: Frankie Pike