Car-sharing app Uber is hoping to shake off perceptions of the service as the ‘saviour of a night’ to show how it can be used for commuting, travelling to the airport or heading to the shops with its first big above-the-line campaign.
The company’s ‘Get there with Uber’ campaign, created by BBH, features six different creatives of real drivers and riders, as opposed to actors, to show how customers and employees really use the app. The riders and drivers were photographed and interviewed and aim to “inspire” potential customers and employees through their real stories and experiences of using Uber. The ads will be rolled out through traditional radio and out of home advertising.
“We’re usually known as a saviour to your night out,” Uber’s UK marketing and business development lead, Rachael Pettit said. “Yet there are so many other reasons to use Uber. We really do connect you with your city, shops, work and airport.”
In the past Uber has said it wants to “get better at telling its story” and Pettit believes now is the right time to start following what she describes as a “big brand refresh in February”, which changed the way it portrayed its image to society. That saw Uber update its logo and apps to make it easier to add products to its portfolio. For example, it has already moved into food delivery.
“We started as a luxury service, we became an ‘almost affordable’ target and now our target is everyone that needs to get from point A to point B. Riders have also been put at the heart of the campaign and company strategy because they are the business, they move our business,” said Pettit.
“For us on the driver side, it is important to show that a lot of different types of people can become drivers. Driving with Uber is a great way of making some extra money on the side. We thought the best way of showing this would be presenting real drivers in the campaign,” Pettit said.
“We’re now focusing on putting our riders and our drivers at the heart of everything we do, so we thought it would be a really good opportunity to go out there and present our brand in a new and different way. This is a great opportunity to offer a more brand-led message and a way of opening up a new demographic for us.”
Uber initially eschewed traditional marketing in favour of word of mouth and below-the-line. In the past, Uber has looked to promote itself through PR and social – for example – delivering ice cream in warm weather. However, with Uber looking to appeal to a new demographic beyond the young, tech-savvy it has turned to more traditional mediums and is now “robustly testing above-the-line”, in particular outdoor.
“Roadside media was critical from the driver side and resonating with the audience, allowing drivers to engage with media on the go,” Pettit claimed.
There are no plans as yet for any TV advertising, although the company will run a separate campaign on social media asking riders to share selfies on the way to their next “adventure” and drivers to share their aspirations and goals for the future. Uber also worked with Arena Media on media buying.