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Campaign Case Study: Bumble

At JPIMedia, we focus on helping small businesses make the biggest impression possible. To do this, it’s important to also keep an eye on what larger businesses are doing, so we can help you learn from their successes. We just don’t think those big players should be able to keep the best ideas to themselves. 

Last year, our patterns of living changed abruptly, leaving advertisers racing to adapt their messaging to the new normal. Some succeeded better than others. Here, we’ve picked out a campaign by a large company, Bumble, that we think has a lot to teach smaller businesses. 

The premise

Bumble is a popular dating app. When the coronavirus pandemic hit, they found that their business model had got a whole lot more vulnerable in a time of social distancing. But rather than give up and let their brand stagnate, Bumble pushed forward with a new campaign in April 2020 to try and maintain awareness and re-articulate the value of their product during a downturn. 

The execution

The campaign featured: 

  • Video advertising 
  • Digital display advertising

The campaign revolved around the slogan ‘Get close from afar’, showcasing how Bumble can safely facilitate much-needed social interaction between people remotely. 

The video ad is simple, unfussy and human-centric, depicting normal people going about their day.

The voiceover establishes familiarity by narrating all (well, not quite all) the physical acts we were prohibited from engaging in – no touching, no holding hands etc – over footage of happy couples. 

Then comes the switch (quite literally, with a shot of a light being turned off). The narrator lists all the ways we can still enjoy moments of connection with new people thanks to technology – yes to swapping secrets, yes to making them blush – over footage of singletons chatting away to each other on their phones. The video ends on a note of optimism, with the strapline ‘Get close, from afar’ fading into the screen. 

Bumble put out this video online, and bolstered it with a set of digital display ads pushing a similar message. 

Why it works

We’re big fans of this determined response to a scenario that might seem terminal for a business whose product revolves around human contact. Bumble understands that a strong brand can weather many storms, and have successfully rearticulated the value of their service. While doing so, they’ve used a proactive, positive message that reminds people that they can still seek refuge in others, just in a slightly different way to how they did before. 

We also liked how the campaign avoided glitzy production or gimmickry to focus on real people living ordinary lives in extraordinary times. This note of authenticity complements the message of the campaign, as do the relative design simplicity of the display ads.

What you can learn from it

So what can small businesses take away from Bumble’s campaign? Firstly, that maintaining the strength of your brand is crucial in tiding you through a downturn. Secondly, that adaptability and a well-crafted central message are more important than a big budget. 

Authenticity is something that smaller businesses have in spades, so you should take advantage of that. When deciding on the messaging for your next campaign, consider how you can appeal to people’s emotions and show that what you sell can fill a meaningful niche in their lives. 

Another thing to take into account is the video’s simplicity. This kind of clip would be well within the capabilities of a small business to produce, and we’d suggest that you use video to position yourself as a company in touch with the people who frequent it. How you do this is up to you, but it needn’t be expensive or over the top! 

One final lesson from Bumble’s campaign is the importance of buttressing your video’s core message with other forms of media. Bumble have kept to a similar script on their digital display ads, playfully reinforcing their slogan across an inventory of different banners to increase the chance that it sticks in people’s minds. 

If this campaign has provided you with the inspiration to get your message out too with a powerful video and impactful digital ads, speak to our multimedia creative experts today to get started.

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