Bumble Speaks to 'Exhausted' Women With Brand Refresh and Global Campaign

The women-focused app is the latest in the crowded online dating landscape to try winning over lovelorn users

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Bumble has become the latest brand in the cluttered dating app landscape to get a makeover as it tries to reach generations fatigued with online dating

The dating app, which launched in 2014 with the distinguishing feature that only women users could make the first move with matches, has undergone a revamp with a refreshed design, new features and a global campaign that speaks to people who are close to swearing off app-based dating. 

Created by Bumble’s in-house creative studio, the campaign and brand refresh are the first major initiative under new CEO Lidiane Jones, who took over from Bumble founder Whitney Wolfe Herd earlier this year. 

Bumble’s campaign, which will run across more than 10 countries, depicts women struggling with online dating fatigue. Both the film and out-of-home ads mix modern sentiments with old-fashioned images inspired by classical artworks. 

In the commercial, set to a soundtrack by Self Esteem, a woman texts her friends that she’s “swearing off dating.” So serious is she in this intention that she joins a convent.

However, she’s distracted by a shirtless gardener. Another nun who sees her frustration hands the young woman a phone with Bumble already downloaded and open on screen. 

In the end, the protagonist leaves the convent to resume her search for love. A line reassures viewers: “We’ve changed, so you don’t have to.” 

Getting a glow up

Bumble’s changes include Opening Moves, a feature that gives women more flexibility in making the first move, with the option to set a question that their matches can respond to. Previously, if two Bumble users matched, the woman would be required to send a message to start a conversation.

For non-binary and same-gender matches, either person can set and respond to an Opening Move prompt. 

Other new features include Dating Intentions badges, with which users can clarify what kind of connection they’re seeking on the app, and advancements to its algorithm that determines compatibility. 

Bumble also introduced a brand redesign with a new logo, bolder fonts, refreshed colors and illustrations. It has held onto its yellow palette, which has been part of the brand’s look since its launch. 

Wooing the weary

Bumble began teasing its campaign and redesign three days ago by deleting all its previous Instagram posts and sharing images—both art and real life—of women claiming to be “exhausted.” 

The sentiment expressed through Bumble’s viral teasers reflects a wider negative perception of dating apps. Amid a growing conversation about online dating fatigue, a Pew Research study last year found that 49% of respondents said dating sites and apps are not safe. Meanwhile, 48% reported encountering negative behaviors on those platforms, such as unsolicited sexual messages or images, unwanted continued contact or physical threats. 

Bumble is not the first dating app to respond to this trend. Tinder’s ongoing global campaign, “It Starts With a Swipe” by agency Mischief @ No Fixed Address, attempts to change its image as a hookup app.

And Hinge, whose ongoing “Designed to Be Deleted” campaign that launched in 2019 positions itself as the more serious app to find relationships, recently released an ad by Wieden+Kennedy Portland highlighting real dating success stories facilitated through the platform. 

Since the beginning, with its unique women-focused niche, Bumble has claimed to be an app that facilitates gender equality in dating. But its own research reflects a desire for change in the user experience of such apps. The brand’s survey found 46% of women said having more ways to start a conversation would make their dating app experience better, while 68% said they struggle with people not being upfront about their dating intentions. 

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