Bumble’s New UK Campaign Stresses Importance of Maintaining Connections in Lockdown

'Time to Connect' shows how priorities have changed for members stuck at home

Photo of a woman on her phone with the text 'Time to connect' in the middle
Bumble worked with agency Mother and animation studio Blinkink to create the campaign. Bumble UK
Headshot of Ian Zelaya

As lockdown restrictions begin to ease in the U.K., Bumble has launched a new campaign about how member behavior has changed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and the importance of staying connected.

The women-first dating and networking app partnered with creative agency Mother to debut the “Time to Connect” campaign. The campaign features a 30-second ad depicting ways our priorities have changed for consumers since stay-at-home orders began.

Using a split-screen format, the first half of the ad depicts the hectic pace of life before the pandemic. The second half of the film emphasizes life today, shifting to slower, single-frame shots that meant to show people having more meaningful connections through actions like hiking, learning new skills at home and video chatting as the new norm of communication.

According to Bumble, the brand followed government guidelines to produce the film and used preexisting footage and animation. London-based animation studio Blinkink led the production.

“This campaign is all about reflecting on the many ways our lives have changed and slowed down during these tough times. Whether you’re speaking to friends, families, or loved ones, connections matter now more than ever,” said Naomi Walkland, associate director of marketing at Bumble, in a statement. “We wanted to highlight how our community is using this time to prioritize what matters most to them, and we hope that this video will remind people of all the great connections they’ve made and will continue to make.”

The campaign theme was sparked by research the app conducted on member behavior since the pandemic began. The brand’s survey of 5,000 U.K. members found that one in five Bumble users have been virtually dating in lockdown—and 46% said quarantine has shown them the benefit of spending more time chatting and getting to know someone first.

Bumble also compared the use of in-app voice calls during the week ending May 1 to the week ending March 13, and reports a 42% increase of in-app video calls since mid-March when lockdown restrictions were enforced.

“One positive takeout of this unexpected lockdown is that it has given us time to reevaluate the frantic pace that we were living, which affected the way we carried our relationship,” said Ana Balarin, partner and ecd at Mother. “Hopefully, as life goes back to normal, we will take these learnings forward and change how we connect for the better. In this film we’ve tried to capture and contrast those two states of mind, and end in a message of hope for those in search of meaningful connections.”

Since the pandemic, Bumble has introduced numerous initiatives to encourage virtually dating globally. The brand partnered with Airbnb to offer daters free virtual experiences and teamed with BuzzFeed for a 24-hour branded content takeover that spotlighted members participating in virtual first dates.

ian.zelaya@adweek.com Ian Zelaya is an Adweek reporter covering how brands engage with consumers in the modern world, ranging from experiential marketing and social media to email marketing and customer experience.