Helena Bonham Carter fronts Bumble campaign championing 2020 daters

Ad by The Brooklyn Brothers chronicles the strange experiences of dating amid a pandemic.

Dating app Bumble has launched a campaign featuring Helena Bonham Carter championing the efforts of daters in 2020. 

“When dating met 2020” chronicles the highs and lows of dating in a year that presented single people with new and unexpected challenges. This is the first work for the brand by The Brooklyn Brothers after winning the brief earlier this year. 

The 90-second film begins with a young woman at Christmas dinner who is asked by her relatives why she doesn’t yet have a boyfriend. “Perhaps you’re just not trying hard enough,” her nan suggests. 

The woman then looks back at all the strange and funny experiences of dating over the past year amid the coronavirus pandemic: from video dates to awkward, socially-distanced walks and having to wee behind a tree in the park. 

Bonham Carter – the Academy Award-nominated and Bafta-winning actress known for her roles in Harry Potter, Fight Club, The King’s Speech and most recently The Crown – narrates the ad as an omniscient godmother of dating, acknowledging the challenges and providing the perspective of many single women. 

She concludes by saying: “The fact is you have been trying. And given the world is spinning on a whole new axis, anything can happen. So what are you waiting for?”

The work was created by Cali Oliver and Charlotte Adorjan and directed by Cloé Bailly through Caviar. 

It will launch on Tuesday (8 December) and run in the UK and Ireland on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram. 

Bumble’s recent survey found that 71% of the app’s users felt their dating life has been significantly affected in 2020 and only 49% were confident about how to date this year. One in 10 people on Bumble also said they faced a lot of pressure from family and friends during the holiday season to be in a relationship. 

“There’s this real sense of time being lost this year that’s been coupled with a specific set of pressures that come up at Christmastime,” Cali Oliver, creative director of The Brooklyn Brothers, said.

“There was an opportunity to do something that showed we understood – something that feels as if it’s for women, by women – and to celebrate this imperfect dating journey that so many people have been on. In showing that truth in a relatable way, you can be encouraging, optimistic and looking forward.”

Bumble’s distinguishing feature among dating apps is that in heterosexual matches, only women can make the first contact. It touts itself as a “women-first social networking app” and, besides dating, it also has features for those seeking friends or networking opportunities.

Bonham Carter said: “Women can often blame themselves but the fact is it’s been an impossible year. But impossibility is still the mother of creativity and there are still ways to meet people online.

“I have friends who have hit 35 and think they need to get a man or have a baby but people should just quit putting those goal posts on themselves. Everybody develops at a different rate, just as babies learn to walk at different ages. I’m nearly 55 and I still haven’t grown up.

“You can't prescribe chemistry, you can't prescribe meeting somebody you're meant to spend the rest of your life with, but you can create possibility.”

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