- HBO and the dating app Bumble teamed on a "Stay Home To The Movies" activation that recreated the experience of a romantic night in, Campaign reported.
- Bumble users were invited to attend the event, set up in a New York City Brownstone, with someone they met on the app. The activation featured five screening rooms where invitees and their dates watch an HBO film that matched their preferences based on answers to a quiz.
- The event featured a bathtub filled with sweets, a wine wall with co-branded bottles and a quote wall. It was created by the agencies Giant Spoon and Mekanism.
HBO and Bumble's activation puts an experiential spin on the "Netflix and chill" meme, which has turned into a pop culture euphemism for couples' casual but still romantic nights in spent streaming movies and TV shows. For HBO, it can use the event to highlight its movie library and prop up its standalone online streaming service, HBO Now, which competes with Netflix. The network could also encourage new subscriptions from visitors.
As the number of cord cutters continues to rise, streaming platforms are more strongly vying for consumers' attentions. Netflix has dominated the market, but other services, including digital video platforms like YouTube, have been beefing up their original programming and marketing efforts to lure subscribers to premium offerings. The number of streaming options can be overwhelming for consumers, with most saying they can't handle more than four subscriptions at a time, according to surveys, pointing to the need for a distinct approach.
Bumble is similarly looking to stay competitive and build brand awareness in a crowded space that includes other dating apps like Match.com OkCupid and Tinder — the latter of which it has clashed fiercely with. Both Bumble and Tinder's parent company Match have sued each other in recent months — Match alleges patent infringement and stealing trade secrets, while Bumble alleges business interference — and Bumble in March took out a full-page ad in The New York Times responding to Match's lawsuit, per Fortune.
Bumble has been focusing on more experiential marketing to drum up buzz for its service. In September last year, the company rolled out a food truck that served catfish — a reference to the online practice of catfishing, where people lie about who they are online through fraudulent profiles. The stunt promoted the app's enhanced profile verification features.
More marketers are embracing these types of activations to boost social media chatter, and frequently leverage quirky visual elements that inspire selfie-taking and posting pictures. The HBO-Bumble event, for example, has a wine and quote wall and bathtub full of sweets.