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What went wrong with Bumble’s rebrand.
June 11, 2024

Marketing Brew

Tubi

Happy Tuesday. Especially to Dr Pepper, which recently moved up the rankings to tie Pepsi as America’s second-favorite soda (behind Coke). Guess that PhD finally paid off.

In today’s edition:

—Katie Hicks, Alyssa Meyers

BRAND STRATEGY

That stings

Large bumble bee stuck on yellow billboard Anna Kim

It’s been dubbed the “Bumble fumble.”

The dating app’s rebrand campaign, which kicked off in April with a wiped Instagram page and what seemed to be a promise to address women’s exhaustion with online dating (and dating in general), ended with the brand issuing an apology and removing out-of-home and video ads that encouraged users to stop being celibate and made comparisons to nuns leaving the convent.

Even before the ad fiasco, some Bumble users had expressed disappointment with the rebrand reveal, which some described as more of a re-skin that didn’t address some of the user experience issues that have become the subject of frequent complaints online, particularly among younger users, some of whom say they are burned out from dating apps altogether.

Molly Barth, senior cultural strategist at consultancy sparks & honey, told us the entire rollout represented a misfire on Bumble’s part for trying to address dating fatigue without appearing to have done adequate research or reflection on the topic.

“They didn’t really understand the true reason why people are so frustrated with dating,” Barth said. “And I think that’s where they went wrong.”

Bumble Director of Communications Natalie Logan shared a statement with Marketing Brew that reads, in part, “We have heard the concerns shared about the ad’s language and understand that rather than highlighting a current sentiment towards dating, it may have had a negative impact on some of our community. This was not our intention and we…will continue to listen to the feedback from our members.”

After years of branding itself as a dating app for women, Bumble’s campaign, Barth said, felt like a betrayal to many and suggested that it may be hard to recover from as discontent grows among dating app users.

Continue reading here.—KH

   

PRESENTED BY TUBI

Strength in numbers

Tubi

We know marketers are driven by digits. So here are a few from Tubi we thought you’d find interesting:

  • Tubi has over 75m active users.
  • As of March 2024, it sits at 1.6% on The Gauge™ from Nielson.
  • It reaches one in four US TV households, per VideoAmp.

Those numbers are dripping with potential. Since Tubi is one of the few free streaming sites, it’s no wonder it has such a broad reach.

And JSYK, Tubi’s fans go hard. They love the platform’s library of content and accessibility, both of which support its mission to give everyone access to the world’s stories.

Find out what Tubi can do for your brand.

SPORTS MARKETING

Jump in

Competitive swimmers racing in an outdoor pool Thomas Barwick/Getty Images

When the Summer Olympics roll around every four years, lots of people suddenly really care about swimming.

To get more Americans thinking about the sport—or thinking about athletes like Katie Ledecky just as often as they’re probably thinking about Caitlin Clark—USA Swimming is rolling out a new multiyear, multi-channel campaign encouraging people to get in the pool.

“We like to say that swimming becomes the most popular sport in America for nine days every four years,” Jake Grosser, senior director of marketing and communications for USA Swimming, the sport’s governing body in the US, told Marketing Brew. “The idea is to bring people in during the summer when we’ve got more eyes on the sport, and then keep them engaged with the sport over the next few years to try and bridge that gap.”

Keep reading here.—AM

   

COWORKING

Coworking with Stanlei Bellan

Stanlei Bellan Stanlei Bellan

Each week, we spotlight Marketing Brew readers in our Coworking series. If you’d like to be featured, introduce yourself here.

Stanlei Bellan is chief strategy officer at Juice Media. Prior to Juice Media, he worked in roles at SB5 Ventures, Pereira O’Dell, and Blackwood Seven. He also co-founded the production company Imagilore.

What’s your favorite ad campaign? Dumb Ways to Die,” conceived by McCann Melbourne for Metro Trains. It cleverly merges dark humor with a catchy tune to spread railway safety awareness. This campaign achieved unprecedented success at the Cannes Lions Festival, securing five Grand Prix, 18 Gold, three Silver, and two Bronze Lions—a record for a single campaign. It also expanded into mobile games, animations, and a full entertainment brand, further broadening its educational impact on safety around trains.

One thing we can’t guess from your LinkedIn profile: I am very passionate about role-playing games, especially Dungeons & Dragons. Since my early teenage years and up until this day, I have been an active dungeon master, running adventures for both in-person and online gaming sessions. This hobby not only fuels my creativity but also enhances my storytelling and strategic thinking skills, which benefits my professional life in unexpected ways.

Continue reading here.

   

SPONSORED BY TUBI

Tubi

More popular than crêpes?! Ooh la la, the numbers don’t lie. Tubi’s 75m die-hard active users outnumber the entire population of France. Translation? When your brand advertises on Tubi, you’re reaching one in four US TV households stuffing their eyeballs with Tubi content (and not their mouths with crêpes). Start advertising on Tubi.

FRENCH PRESS

There are a lot of bad marketing tips out there. These aren’t those.

Street smarts: Tips for creating billboards that will catch people’s eyes.

Best of both worlds: How to combine performance and growth strategies in B2B marketing.

After dark: A PR exec makes the case for charging clients more for work done outside of business hours.

Now streaming: New episodes of Fix My Setup just dropped. This video series from Wistia helps you level up your webcam setup for video calls, webinars, and video podcasts. Go camera-on.*

*A message from our sponsor.

JOINING FORCES

two hands shaking Francis Scialabba

Mergers and acquisitions, company partnerships, and more.

  • Zendaya partnered with Swiss sneaker brand On for a multi-year relationship that will see her involved with campaigns and product development.
  • Brand New Galaxy, an e-commerce agency owned by Stagwell, got folded into media agency Assembly.
  • Dolby Labs said it would acquire GE Licensing, General Electric’s business for licensing IP focused on the consumer digital media and electronics industries, as part of a $429 million deal.

JOBS

When’s the last time you landed a job by applying cold? We’ve partnered with CollabWORK, the first community-powered hiring platform, to bring you curated jobs from companies looking to connect with Marketing Brew readers. Apply below and join CollabWORK for free.

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