fbpixel Embracing the human touch: brands as catalysts for meaningful connections. - MG Empower
Written by - Olivia Wells-Johnson

Embracing the human touch: brands as catalysts for meaningful connections.


From online shopping to digital literature to forging romantic connections through screens, digital experiences have become deeply intertwined with our daily routines. While these advancements have undeniable benefits, they have also inadvertently diminished the confidence required to put ourselves ‘out there’. 

That’s a problem for people. But what I’m interested in is the creative solutions – one of which was provided by a recent collaboration between Bumble and Netflix.

In its simplest form, the idea behind the collab was to provide interest-based conversation starters, in-app, to help users break the ice with new matches. For me, this is the perfect example of what great campaigns can look like in our ultra-digitalised world: creative, collaborative, and community-first.

If there’s a lesson here, it’s that brands can and should act as catalysts to spark conversations and forge connections with and between their consumers. It’s not only a way of inserting themselves naturally into the conversation, but also of building affinity by becoming a meaningful presence in people’s lives. 

So before we dive in, here’s what you can expect to take away from this blog:

  • Brands as catalysts for connections: By providing conversation starters and leveraging shared interests, the Netflix x Bumble collaboration shows how brands can help individuals break the ice and establish connections beyond the superficial.
  • The shifting marketing landscape: More and more, brands are recognising the importance of integrating themselves naturally into the lives of their customers by facilitating authentic connections, thus building brand affinity. 
  • Embracing the human touch: While technology has transformed our lives, it is essential to prioritise human connections. When building marketing strategies, we must embrace the opportunity to create spaces that facilitate genuine conversations and connections, fostering a sense of belonging in an increasingly digitalised world.

Reviving the art of conversation

I think we all innately understand the impact of technology, especially since the pandemic, on our ability to connect. We find ourselves occasionally retreating behind our screens, choosing the comfort of virtual life over pushing our social boundaries to meet new people. 

Brands are by no means responsible for helping people overcome this. But when they do, they can strike gold. 

The Bumble x Netflix campaign empowered individuals with confidence by offering a means to connect beyond the standard “Hey, how are you?” and establish an exciting foundation based on shared interests. It was beautiful in its simplicity and as campaigns go, it felt really… real. 

I think we all have a certain amount of nostalgia for the connections of our grandparents, formed through community social gatherings or childhood friendships that have withstood the test of time. It makes us realise the value of personal interactions. So when the pandemic pushed technology to the forefront as our main source of companionship, and we spent more time on Netflix than engaging with people directly, we started to crave something that looked a little more like romances of the past. 

Bumble x Netflix provided exactly that, leveraging our shared love for Netflix as a bridge to spark connections in the real world. Rather than putting themselves at the centre of the narrative, these two brands collaborated to insert themselves naturally into the conversation. 

Rather than dominating the dialogue, they facilitated it. That’s a strategy that works.

Going to where the people are

In recent years, marketing strategies have regeared their focus towards creating spaces that encourage customers to initiate and sustain conversations with one another. Bumble x Netflix is a great example, but you only have to look at any Metaverse activation, or Reddit’s infamous r/place, to see how successful campaigns that prioritise connections – beyond their own spheres – have been. 

This isn’t the first time Bumble has done it: Bumble IRL is a wonderful example of how online connections can transcend the screen. We go on and on about how important it is to create spaces for your customers to interact with each other, and Bumble does that quite literally with its in-person events – which they market very cleverly as exclusive and ‘just for our community’. 

The message is simple: go where the people are. And if you can’t, then bring them to you. 

Meaningful experiences spark brand affinity

Brands are recognising the importance of decentralising themselves and facilitating community discussions to integrate seamlessly into the realities of real people. This is a response to the growing need for authentic connections in an increasingly digital world. By embracing it, brands have an opportunity to not only promote their top line benefits but also become catalysts for meaningful experiences in the lives of their customers. 

In my eyes, there’s no better way to spark brand affinity. 

The Bumble x Netflix campaign spanned various digital platforms, including digital content, out-of-home advertising, and influencer marketing. Through careful selection, MG Empower engaged comedy and skit creators, ensuring diversity in their audiences and maximising reach. The influencer marketing campaign achieved remarkable success, garnering 1.3 million combined views and impressions. Notably, the content resonated deeply with audiences, generating 22,000 engagements and an impressive organic engagement rate of +15% on Instagram. 

If you’d like to find out more about the impact MG Empower can create for your brand, get in touch today. We’re always happy to talk.

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