Serena’s a Super Bowl Star But Did Bumble Fumble?

by Alpha
January 29, 2019

Bumble’s choice of Serena Williams as the star of its new ad campaign may connect with Super Bowl viewers, but a new report from Alpha, the on-demand insight platform, finds that it may be a fumble when it comes to bringing users to the app.

Alpha tested the reactions of more than 350 dating app users to the choice of Williams as spokesperson for its new “The Ball is in Her Court” marketing campaign, set to debut during the Super Bowl broadcast on Sunday, February 3, 2019.

Respondents were overwhelming positive to the news, with only 12% having any negative view of Williams as the star of the campaign. However, Bumble seems to stumble with potential customers, with only 33% saying that William’s endorsement would make them likely to use the app, and 66% having no opinion or a negative reaction.

Respondents also question the campaign’s authenticity and the relevance of the spokesperson. Only 28% say that they think Williams uses the app frequently. One user expressed their conflict about her being married:

Serena is a strong woman so I think she would be an excellent candidate for advertising. However, I believe it would be weird that she is advertising for a dating site when she has a kid and a husband.”

This demonstrates that while Williams has high favorability, perhaps a different celebrity would have encouraged consumers to use the app. We ran a follow up test to discover what other celebrities might make a better star for Bumble’s Super Bowl ad. We found that users favored Emma Stone and Pete Davidson over Cardi B and Drake.

Our tests also showed that Bumble may need to do a better job explaining its value and product offerings. A whopping 59% of dating app users had no idea what Bumble even is.

Dozens of brands will try to cut through the noise during the Super Bowl by flooding the zone with celebrities. Alpha can help teams test their ideas and gain insights that can maximize the effectiveness of their campaigns.

Alpha’s on-demand user insights platform helps leading organizations validate business decisions and accelerate innovation. Every business faces existential threats from market forces, new competitors, automation, and workforce challenges. The companies that will survive and thrive are agile, and adapt and react to the changing wants and needs of the marketplace. With Alpha, teams can build products based on objective data and corporate strategy is aligned to the actual wants and needs of the market.

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