Bumble had just six weeks to shoot its first Super Bowl ad.
The decision for the women-led social networking platform, best known for its dating app, to buy into the Big Game came on Thanksgiving Day. With many marketers spending a year on Super Bowl creative, this proved a challenge.
"Even up to the time we stepped on set we were still scrambling to get permits and get everything together for the shoot in a very almost chaotic environment," says Laura Hutfless, partner at FlyteVu Agency, Bumble's agency of record.
The spot, starring Serena Williams, tells the story of how the tennis pro made the first move in her own life. "If I would have waited then I never would be where I am today," Williams told Ad Age.
The 30-second commercial is certainly unique for the Super Bowl. Not only is it an ad specifically targeted female viewers – a rarity for Super Bowl advertising – but it also stars a strong woman and was created by a team made up of almost entirely women. Aside from FlyteVu, a female-led agency, VMLY&R also has a woman chief global creative officer, and Bumble was founded by a woman.
Williams, who served as a co-creator of the spot, says "I really wanted it to be authentic, I wanted it to be strong, and I wanted it to be cool. What better way to shake up then to have an all female ad, not only on camera but also behind the camera."
While Bumble created the ad in just six weeks, the idea for the ad, with the title "The Ball is in Her Court," has been a motto of the company since its inception. Back in 2014, Bumble founder and CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd, says she took tennis rackets and balls to her local tennis court. She slapped Bumble stickers on the balls and took a picture that she posted on social media with the caption: "The ball is in her court on Bumble."
With the spot, Wolfe Herd says she hopes to inspire. "I want fathers to share it with their daughters; brothers to send it to their sisters; and I want little girls around the world to feel like they could be that little girl on that court, just pick up the ball whatever that is, whatever that metaphor is in your life."
Take a look at the video above, the latest in Ad Age's 'Anatomy of an Ad' series.