Global Director of Strategy
Bumble BFF recently launched its first integrated campaign "Find Real Friends" in India to celebrate its friendship-finding mode, which is centered around normalizing the need to make new friendships throughout life and supporting women to feel empowered and safe in doing so. Highlighted by a variety of out-of-home ads on bus shelters, corporate parks and malls, along with digital ads, "Find Real Friends" underlines that real and authentic friendships can be found on Bumble BFF - friends that accept you for who you are without any judgments. Allaboutoutdoor.com spoke with Priti Joshi, Global Director of Strategy, Bumble about the rationale behind the OOH campaign and her expectations from it.
Excerpts from the interview are as follows:
What was your objective from the 'Find Real Friends' OOH campaign? Was the objective achieved?
We recently launched our first integrated Bumble BFF campaign "Find Real Friends" in India to celebrate our friendship-finding mode, which is centered around normalizing the need to make new friendships throughout life and supporting women to feel empowered and safe in doing so.
Through this campaign, we aim to drive awareness and education of the BFF mode and how it can help users connect with other like-minded individuals and create meaningful platonic relationships that go beyond friendship stereotypes.
What was the brief given to the agency? Please take us through the campaign.
The 'Find Real Friends' Bumble BFF campaign has been developed based on the insight that Indian women today are moving away from friendship stereotypes and are keen to foster new bonds in unconventional ways, ones that come with no expectations or tags.
Based on this insight, we arrived at our proposition of 'Find Real Friends,' which emphasizes that real and authentic friendships can be found on Bumble BFF-where friends accept you for who you are without any judgments.
Through our campaign creative, we've highlighted multiple facets of how Bumble BFF is giving users a platform to create meaningful friendships in their communities-whether it's a woman connecting with other women travelers in a new city, new moms finding other new mom friends, finding a gym buddy for a spin class, or a college freshmen looking to make a circle of friends that could last them a lifetime. Our media mix is comprised of a variety of targeted and high impact out-of-home ads on billboards, bus shelters, corporate parks and malls, along with digital amplification. We are also working with brand ambassadors and hosting events throughout the month of August as a focused part of this campaign.
How does the campaign strengthen your brand's voice on OOH as a dating app?
Bumble is a social network, by women for everyone and is an app with a mission to end misogyny. Taking the brand mission forward, we are empowering women to make the first move in all aspects of their lives, be it dating, friendship or business.
Is there any difference in the way Indian millennials use dating apps compared to youngsters in other parts of the world?
Women in India are adopting Bumble differently than those in other countries. We have seen that women in India have made the first move over three million times and are sending 2x as many messages as women in the rest of the world. In fact, about 30% of our users are women - and the number of women on Bumble in India has grown more than 1.5x faster than men since launch. Furthermore, since our launch in December 2018, we've seen that about half of our women users in India use two or more modes within Bumble. This speaks to the power of the social network - and we're excited to continue to support women as they experience each of Bumble's modes.
How has the acceptance of dating apps evolved since you started out?
We were thrilled to see that one million people in India joined Bumble within four months of our launch. Since the app launched in the US back in 2014 and has now expanded across the globe, Bumble has amassed more than 65 million users in 150 countries.
How different was your brand and marketing approach in India as compared to other markets? What is unique about the Indian market?
Bumble is an app created by women, for everyone. We have a woman CEO + founder, and our company is comprised of 85% women. Our product truly has women in mind and has a mission to hold people accountable through their actions online through our zero-tolerance policy of harassment, misogyny or hate speech of any kind. On Bumble, only women can make the first move in heterosexual relationships in dating.
When We launched in India in December 2018, and this was the first time that Bumble was able to launch as a fully-fledged social network and bring all three modes to market at launch - Bumble Bizz, Bumble BFF + Bumble Date. As we were doing our consumer research in 2018, we spoke with many early adopters and potential users of Bumble in India. One of the things we consistently heard was the desire for women to feel secure and comfortable when making connections online. Therefore, we developed a feature specific to India - for women using Bumble Date, only her first initial will show. When she is ready to share her full name with connections, she can but until then her identity is protected.
In addition to India-specific features to ensure women feel secure and comfortable in making the first move, we have many global features that are live in India. For example, we make it easy to block and report anyone you don't want to see on the app and we have photo verification to help ensure that the person you're connecting with is who they say they are. We recently launched a new product feature globally 'Bumble Voice Calls & Video Chat' that advances the safety and connection of its users in a manner that is never seen before in the digital connection space. Users can now voice call or video chat with each other within the Bumble app without exchanging personal contact info, such as a phone number or email, and have a close to "real life" connection experience- one that is defined by the safety, security and well-being of users across all the platforms.
In addition to localized and customized product features, we've also taken steady steps to establish a culturally relevant and insightful brand voice in the country, be it through our launch campaign of women being #EqualNotLoose, to our Find Them On Bumble Bizz campaign, celebrating 25 remarkable Indian women with inspiring stories of personal and professional success. These campaigns also featured Bumble Global Advisor and investor, Priyanka Chopra Jonas whose personal story has helped in driving awareness and establishing salience for Bumble in India.
What are the hindrances facing the growth and development of Out-of-Home media from the perspective of a brand owner?
In a media-cluttered environment like India, seeking our audiences' attention can be quite challenging and expensive. OOH as a medium particularly faces this challenge. As a brand owner, it is imperative for us to innovate and balance our media investments by continuously experimenting with experiential innovations in OOH to drive the right audience reach.
What changes do you anticipate in OOH space?
Given the demanding need for clutter-free OOH opportunities, we would anticipate the introduction of premium digital OOH billboards. As most cities in India are now focusing on sustainability, we also foresee more regulations around eco-friendly billboards, as we're already observing in Bangalore.
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