Why Bumble Used a Food Truck for its Latest Experiential Event
As most Millennials know, mobile app dating is tough. “Catfishing,” or pretending to be someone you’re not, is a pretty big occurrence across Tinder and Bumble alike. Bumble is a dating app which requires women to message matched men first. Bumble, itself, recently released an anti-catfish mobile app feature. To promote itself, the Austin-based tech company created a New York airstream food truck.
It served fish tacos, promoting its new photo verification feature capable of weeding out phony Bumble accounts. The “catfish” slang term was created and popularized back in 2010 during a documentary. Now, it’s been implemented into the mobile app’s photo verification feature to screen out the prevalent fake accounts.
The feature makes users snap a selfie in highly specific poses, so as to make sure the user isn’t using another’s pre-existing photos from Facebook, Instagram or another visual-based website. Soon, Bumble will extend into the friend networking world—becoming much more than a dating app. Photo verification might not be the most alluring feature, but Bumble’s idea creators have sustained a positive marketing campaign pinned to the app’s classier approach to mobile dating.
As for the food truck, it existed to celebrate the app’s newest feature. After all, the photo verification feature was created in a playful way—giving users control of their identity verification without necessarily breaking down the app’s intrigue. Called “The Great Catch” promotion, Bumble’s food truck promotion handed out free catfish-centric dishes. Aside from the catfish tacos, the truck had catfish sliders, roasted squash salad and honey-sweetened Arnold Palmer which was popularized through “Top Chef’s” Sam Talbot—a Brooklyn contestant.
Marketing for a mobile app is tough, but Bumble’s Director of Marketing, Chelsea Maclin, reportedly created the campaign to invite newcomers with open arms while celebrating its current users. The app’s huge user base, stationed in New York, let various Bumble brand ambassadors verify their mobile devices while waiting for grub. These ambassadors could then explain how Bumble—and the offshoot, Bumble BFF—worked. They walked attendees through the app’s download, setup and use. Meanwhile, the app’s preexisting users were invited to learn more about the app’s features.
The photo verification feature, of course, was at the centerfold. Bumble users were given branded giveaways, including pins, hats and t-shirts. Then, they were allowed to participate in the brand’s many on-site photo booth experiences. No experiential event is complete without a conference. Thus, Bumble invited its key influencers and press people to take part in The Great Catch. They were given yellow tackle boxes—branded, of course—each packed with anti-catfishing messages and swag.
Bumble is an engaging experience, and it was deserving of a campaign capable of touching the catfish topic lightly while also recognizing the app feature’s important use. Because Bumble’s goal is to help users create meaningful relationships, much of the experiential event was created to connect with the app’s users on a personal level. Online safety, accountability and freedom can be a touchy subject—but Bumble covered it with grace.