Why Bumble Is Celebrating the Stories of 112 Real-Life NYC Users

The app's largest-ever campaign is taking a hyper-local approach

Bumble is promoting real people across New York. Bumble
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Bumble is plastering the real-life stories of 112 of its “inspirational and relatable” users all over New York for its largest advertising campaign to date.

The social connection app, which now has 41 million worldwide customers, wanted to “encompass a lot of voices” and “celebrate the city and the incredible people using our product,” said CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd. “We’ve never invested as much intellectual or financial capital into a marketing campaign before.”

Herd wouldn’t specify the amount being spent on creative and media, other than to say it’s a “multimillion dollar” effort, but the physical real estate alone is significant. It will extend from billboards, storefronts, subway takeovers and double-decker illuminated buses (some 500 outdoor placements in all) to coffee sleeves, pizza boxes and wraps around the New York Post.

Instead of A-list celebrities or influencers with massive followings, Bumble handpicked a random number of users “with a diverse array of backgrounds, love lives, friendships and careers,” the brand said, including Alyssa Mastromonaco, former White House deputy chief of staff under Obama, Liz Bouk, an opera singer, and Julie Rice, founder of SoulCycle.

Along with the out-of-home ads, hyper targeted to the users’ neighborhoods, favorite hangouts and workplaces, Bumble created a companion docuseries dubbed “the most inspiring New Yorkers.” The short-form videos and other content will roll out on @FindThemOnBumble on Instagram and on Bumble’s website.

Featured among the diverse group of everyday city dwellers are Amirah Kassem, founder of Flour Shop in SoHo (“I believe the secret to happiness is creating it yourself.”), Gavin Moseley, founder of Den Hospitality in the West Village (“My legacy will be that I made my friends feel better about themselves.”) and Kristopher Sharp, political operative from Crown Heights (“Let women decide what happens with their own bodies, hire trans people and, for the love of God, vote.”)

The brand worked with media shop Noble People on the campaign. Bumble plans to replicate the campaign in cities around the world, with Los Angeles next in line.

“We launched Bumble Bizz at this time last year, and we were conceptualizing our next move,” Herd said. “We decided to highlight the good connection that could be just around the corner.”

Bumble, while it’s adding about 500,000 users a week, hopes to drive traffic with the campaign, she said, and burnish its brand. The company, which Herd says is profitable, just announced an expansion into Asia and an investment from actress Priyanka Chopra.

@TLStanleyLA terry.stanley@adweek.com T.L. Stanley is a senior editor at Adweek, where she specializes in consumer trends, cannabis marketing, meat alternatives, pop culture, challenger brands and creativity.