Bumble Created a Food Truck That Served Actual Catfish to Promote a Photo-Verification Feature

New York stunt poked fun at online dating

The food truck put a twist on the other kind of catfishing. Bumble
Headshot of Lauren Johnson

Any online millennial dater knows their way around a catfish. They’re those people who create fake profiles on dating and social apps, usually swapping out their photo with someone more attractive.

Chef Sam Talbot from Bravo's Top Chef

As a way to poke fun at the absurdities of online dating, dating app Bumble and Austin, Texas-based creative company Preacher parked a branded food truck called “The Great Catch” at three busy intersections in New York last week, offering free catfish dishes that were created by Top Chef talent Sam Talbot. The fun stunt promoted the app’s photo verification tool that uses facial recognition to eliminate catfishing. Users can submit a selfie of themselves and then the technology determines if the photo matches the profile photo.

Bumble’s food truck served catfish tacos, sliders, squash salads and Arnold Palmers but in order to eat, passerbys were asked to download the Bumble app and show their smartphone to a few staffers. Copy on the truck read, “Catfish just got served,” and branded napkins, cups and paper food containers were printed with messages like, “Bottoms Up, Bottom Feeders Down.”

The activation took place on a particularly busy corner of Williamsburg in Brooklyn (Bedford Avenue and North 4th Street) on Saturday and Sunday, with a number of young people pointing at the truck and talking about Bumble—seemingly “in” on the catfish joke.

It’s not the first time that Bumble has created a physical pop-up. This summer, the app created a space called the Hive for people to hang out and meet up IRL. If two people “swipe right” on each other, women are required to make the first move. Since Whitney Wolfe launched the app in 2014, Bumble has been downloaded 20 million times and is live in 145 countries.

@laurenjohnson lauren.johnson@adweek.com Lauren Johnson is a senior technology editor for Adweek, where she specializes in covering mobile, social platforms and emerging tech.