"Women, the ball is in your court." That's the message behind Serena Williams' 2019 Super Bowl ad for Bumble, originally a dating app that put women in charge and is looking to branch out. For the five-year-old social network's first ever Super Bowl ad, they've recruited the GOAT to help other woman find their power in not only love, but all facets of their life. Her advice? Stop being polite and start getting what you want. After all, that's what she did.
Bumble's "Make The First Move" 60-second ad starts with Williams saying, "The world tells you to wait. That waiting is polite and good things will just come." But everyone knows that's not how you get ahead. No one more so than Williams, who is a tennis champion, a designer, a wife, and a mother. In the ad, she makes the case that if she waited for the tennis world to "invite me in, I never would have stood out."
Williams' advice to get ahead is to make the first move "in work, in love, and in life and don't wait to be given power." Why? Well, as Williams fiercely says into the camera, "We already have it." Serena: 1 Patriarchy: 0.
While Williams is killing it in this ad for Bumble, which requires women to make the first move on its dating app, it's worth noting that behind the scenes the crew of the commercial was also predominately female. The ad's director is A.V. Rockwell, a screenwriter and director from Queens, N.Y., who made The Gospel, a music-driven short film from Alicia Keys that help promote her 2016 album, Here.
“She has built the life she wants to live; a life that transcends the court,” Bumble chief brand officer Alexandra Williamson told AdWeek about why they wanted to work with Williams. “People will see a different side to Serena when this ad goes live, and I would attribute that to an all-female team working on it.”
That women, specifically woman of color, had a hand in making this ad, which features Rita Ora's "Soul Survivor," was important to Williams, the co-creative director of the ad and Bumble's new global advisor.
"At such a pivotal time for women across the globe, this commercial seeks to inspire all of us to seize opportunity wherever it presents itself," Williams said in a statement to Ad Age. "I want women to feel empowered to find their voice and use the power within to create change, to lift each other up, and to never let the world tell us we can't — because we can, and we will."
The commercial, which will air in the first quarter of Sunday's game, is also part of Bumble's "First Move Day" initiative, which means for every first move someone makes on their app the week following the Super Bowl, the company will donate to Yetunde Price Resource Center. The charity, which was chosen by Williams, promotes community healing for those who have gone through traumatic experiences.
In the behind the scenes footage of Williams' commercial, the tennis pro talked about how finally it seems as if society is starting to see women differently. "They're starting to understand that we're just as strong and just as smart and just as savvy and just as business-like as any male in this world." And while Williams says women "always have been" all those things, it's time to capitalize on this moment.
So, take Williams' advice and stop waiting for an invitation, it's your time to take matters into your own hands — no permission necessary.