Duolingo's adoption campaign invites freeloaders to join your family plan

Push from Mischief asks users to let others in on their subscription package

Published On
Sep 21, 2022

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Fifty adults have been roaming the streets of New York City, sporting green signs that read “please adopt me.”

But they're not looking for parents. 

“I just want to learn Spanish,” one yells. He, along with the other hopeful adoptees, are part of a street activation promoting Duolingo’s "Adoption Center" campaign to promote the language learning app's family plan.

With "Duolingo Adoption Center," individuals can petition to have themselves adopted into existing users' family plans so they can use their spare logins. The plan allow for six members, so slots routinely go spare. It launched last year and includes the benefits of Super, the premium subscription which includes an ad-free experience, unlimited hearts, and a monthly streak repair. 

The campaign, created with Mischief @ No Fixed Address, arrives just as other brands such as Netflix have gotten serious about limiting password sharing by imposing additional user fees.

“Overall, we really want to raise awareness of our family plan as a fun, cost-effective way to make the most of Duolingo’s subscription offering,” said Michaela Kron, director of U.S. marketing at Duolingo. “In a time when we’re seeing many services crack down on password and account sharing, we wanted to take a different approach that highlights the power of learning together on one Duolingo account—because it really does take you further.”

To get adopted into an existing Duolingo Family Plan, people can visit duolingoadoptioncenter.com, create a personal flyer and then share it on social media with the hashtag “#DuolingoAdoptionCenter.” Those with family accounts can view the flyers and share their family plan invite link with an adult in need of a language learning community. 

"Finding 50 people who fit our demographic—middle-aged folk—within a matter of days and then wrangling them across one of the world's busiest cities was no small feat," said Coleman Sweeney, senior producer at Mischief. "But [it's] so worth it when you watch the footage of those folks begging random people to be adopted."

The campaign also includes billboards showcasing people’s flyers and QR codes taking users to the website.

Duolingo’s media team shared ads and social placements highlighting the campaign on Twitter.

“It’s only day one, but we’re hopeful about the connections that can be made among our learners, both those looking to get ‘adopted’ into a family plan and those with extra room in their family plan," said Kron. "Who knows, maybe come late November we’ll hear about some new additions to Thanksgiving tables across the country?"