Since 30th January, Bumble members have been able to share their passion for cinema with their matches, thanks to a co-branded partnership between the dating app and the global streaming giant Netflix. The partnership launched as an in-app game for Bumble users, which aims to help spark conversation between matches over their shared interests in movies and TV shows. The game, dubbed ‘Netflix Nights In’, takes the form of a weekly set of questions for users in the US, Canada, and the UK, where both players have to answer queries about Netflix’s most popular shows before their responses are revealed to one another. So, what’s the insight and strategy behind this partnership?
Bumble is no stranger when it comes to leaning into pop culture to drive engagement, previously partnering with the likes of HBO to create a quiz-based movie night for daters in New York City. This unique partnership between Bumble and Netflix is the first of its kind between a dating app and SVOD service. From Netflix’s point of view, given how competitive the SVOD arena has become, this could prove a savvy move in building further distinctiveness for their brand against its competitors, allowing it to extend its reach against a potential new set of users in its target demographics. Bumble can benefit from the halo effect of association with Netflix, given its global pedigree and incredibly strong NPS (ranked 2nd in the world), and may also be able to attract new users who are intrigued by the in-app gaming experience.
To build awareness of the partnership, the two brands launched a co-branded DOOH campaign early in the year with billboards revealed in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Miami. Using flagship sites in urban areas of heavy footfall, the brands are aiming to build strong reach against city dwellers – and are no doubt hoping to build fame as a result of the ads being picked up and discussed in digital media. The in-app game, which has been active every Monday since the 30th of January, is hosted each week by well-known stars from some of Netflix’s biggest hits, including Ashley Park from ‘Emily in Paris’ and Alexa Lemieux of ‘Love is Blind’. These actors are filmed asking users questions on Netflix’s most popular shows and their involvement will add hype to the partnership and scale reach because of their celebrity.
So where did the idea for this partnership come from? Media partnerships can be a fantastic execution for both brands when done well. As two recognised brands come together, their collaboration can help them reach new audiences, offer something new, fresh, and exciting to consumers, and even change audience perception of their brand by forming new associations that they borrow from the other brand. Bumble approached Netflix to collaborate based on insights from their own recent audience survey, which showed people feel more connected when they enjoy the same films and TV shows. Indeed, 78% of respondents stated that they find it easier to talk to matches when they like the same TV shows and films and 72% of respondents stated they had discussed TV and films while on a date. There was natural synergy already with Netflix, given 83% of Bumble users are already Netflix users, so it appears to be a great opportunity to connect with and extend Bumble’s influence. As Magno Herran, Vice President of marketing partnerships at Netflix, put it: "We wanted to give people a way to find someone who gets them based on what they watch while leaning into 'if you know you know' Netflix references that have helped to spark many conversations".
This partnership is not the first between a media brand and a leading consumer service. It is reminiscent of when Spotify partnered with Uber to create “a soundtrack for your ride”. This smart co-branding venture granted consumers of both brands an improved experience when taking a ride in an Uber, granting them full control of the music during their ride so that they can travel to their own soundtrack. This partnership successfully created a memorable and engaging experience for Uber users and increased Spotify’s visibility.
If you’re considering a brand partnership, our Strategy and Planning team have expertise in insight generation and can help define your target audience, analyse their lifestyle, attitudes and behaviours, and pinpoint different brands that could be a suitable match for your objectives. As part of Dentsu, we also have strong experience in OOH and how best to align this with your digital strategy to maximise performance.