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Bumble's real-world COVID-19 marketing campaign is downright inspiring

In a time of social distancing, dating app Bumble provides an inspiring "in the wild" marketing campaign all brands should take note of.

By Marcella Jalbert

Bumble's real-world COVID-19 marketing campaign is downright inspiring

WSB sports anchor and reporter Alison Mastrangelo recently shared a surprising and creative marketing campaign she stumbled upon while taking her pup for a relaxing morning stroll:

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Finding a bench in a park is not anything new, of course. But what she found was much, much different. 

The bench features only two seats, spaced six feet apart. Painting on the back of the bench is: “I need space but only like 6 feet” along with the Bumble logo. It also comes equipped with its own hand sanitizer dispenser that upon closer inspection announces Bumble’s mission of “creating safe, equal, and healthy connections” with the hashtag #keepitcleanonbumble.

What is Bumble? 

Bumble is a social matchmaking app that offers dating, “BFF,” and business pairings that, according to Forbes, is valued at more than $1 billion. They are notable for being a feminist company — for example, on the dating side of their app, women in search of men are the ones who get to make the first move. Men cannot respond until a woman says hello, even if they mutually match.

So, what about the bench?

The bench is cute. Cheeky even. The bright yellow stands out against the lush green surroundings and offers a satire to the current state of things — obviously, people can social distance without a socially distance specific bench right 🤔.

But the genius of the bench is that it physically represents the Bumble brand mission in a way that is both functional — often people from the app meet in local parks, since many restaurants and other public gathering spaces have been closed — and promotional. 

Bumble users can actually use the bench as a meeting place, while others who may have never heard of Bumble in the past might be intrigued to learn more about what the brand has to offer. 

"We're not a dating app, why should we care?" 

We love this campaign for two specific reasons:

  • Bumble's bench is a great example of a creative marketing strategy that truly embraces the realities of the moment. It's also a great reminder that the best marketing right now is not the marketing that clearly longs form normalcy or pretends as if the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic aren't happening. The key to making this work for you is doing it in a way that is authentic to your brand. It has to fit with your voice, your tone, and it has to be relevant.
  • Second, it's an outstanding example of how to market an online product in a tangible, offline way that is not a gimmick. Instead it's a real-life extension of the product itself — a physical manifestation of the app's intent to bring people together in a way that is safe for all parties.

So, it doesn't matter what you sell, remember:

  • Your marketing right now should be real, relevant, and rooted in reality. Don't sidestep COVID-19 in your marketing. Speak to it directly.
  • Maximize opportunities to delight your ideal buyers in unexpected ways. Whether that's creating a safe, sanitized, real-world experience, or some sort of virtual equivalent. Think dimensionally about how someone can experience your product and your mission in a more personalized and interactive way.

A lot of times it takes so long to get an idea to fruition that the subject reference is outdated. When going the cultural relevance route it pays to not overthink it. Roll with an idea and roll with it quickly. Even if it flops the flop will be quickly gone as quickly as the changing tide.

Featured Image Credit: Alison Mastrangelo 

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Published on September 14, 2020

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