Platforms Featured ANZ

Uber launches first-ever Journey Ads ad option with Paramount+ in AU

AustraliaUber has launched the first ever advertising option, Journey Ads, for Australia with Paramount+ through Wavemaker, that provides share-of-voice and consumer attention from millions of riders across the region. 

This is Uber’s latest strategy for advertisers to allow brands to place relevant content in front of purchase-minded riders from the moment they book their ride through to the end of their trip.

Following the successful trial in the US, Journey Ads is making its way to Australia to make it possible for Uber to personalise advertisements to users without compromising their privacy or experience, or sharing their personal data, by utilising Uber’s first-party data and insights on millions of users. Creating and personalising powerful and relevant user content based on their activities and interests based on previous trips and orders are made possible for brand advertisers.

Paramount+ Regional Vice President Marketing & Growth, Louise Crompton, said, “At Paramount+ we are always looking for new and innovative ways to present our brand and our exclusive content slate to Australian streamers. The targeting opportunities combined with the high dwell environment to reinforce our Mountain of Entertainment over Summer, was very appealing to us.”

Meanwhile, Wavemaker Group Director, Peter Andrew, stated, “We are always looking for innovative ways to connect with audiences and reach them with the right message at the right time. Uber advertising provides a new platform to talk to audiences when they’re in the right mindset. We are so excited to leverage Uber’s new targeting capabilities to feed people content that will excite them personally.”

Lastly, Uber’s Head of Advertising ANZ, Michael Levine, said, “We are excited that Paramount+ is amongst the first to launch Journey Ads on our platform, as we have seen strong levels of interest from brands across Australia looking for innovative ways to connect with audiences. Uber’s Journey Ad format offers brands 100% ownership of the ride. At an average 20+ minutes per ride, our pilot partners in international markets have seen phenomenal levels of engagement with the new ad format. Combined with unique waypoint targeting, Uber’s new advertising formats offer Australian brands a space to create meaningful audience engagement.”

Uber Journey Ads follows the successful launch of Uber’s Advertising division in ANZ earlier in July, which includes a suite of advertising formats for merchants, partners and brands on both the Uber and Uber Eats platform. 

In Uber’s Privacy Centre, users can also set their ad preferences and opt out of certain personalized ads. Furthermore, Uber requires all advertisers on the Uber platform to follow its content and targeting policies, and all ads are subject to Uber’s review and approval.

Marketing Featured South Asia

Uber discontinues ride-hailing services in five Pakistani cities

Pakistan – Technology company Uber is discontinuing its ride-hailing services in five Pakistani cities namely Karachi, Islamabad, Multan, Faisalabad and Peshawar.

According to a report by Reuters, the exit is a move by Uber to reduce market overlap between the U.S. firm and its Middle East unit Careem.

However, Uber will still remain in the city of Lahore, where Uber is aiming at launching new products.

Former Uber drivers that are from the five cities can switch to Careem, a Dubai-based company purchased by Uber for US$3.1b in 2019 to dominate the ride-hailing markets in the Middle East and Pakistan.

“We know this is a difficult time for the teams who have worked incredibly hard to build this business over the past few years. We greatly appreciate everyone’s contributions and our priority is to minimise the impact to our employees, drivers, riders, and Hero partners who use the Uber app during this change in Karachi, Islamabad, Faisalabad, Multan and Peshawar,” the company said in a statement.

Uber first entered into Pakistan in 2016 as part of a US$250m push to expand into the Middle East and North Africa. Uber had also recently offloaded its food delivery services to Zomato, a local rival, and sold its shares in the company recently at an assumed unrealized loss of US$707m.

Marketing Featured East Asia

What are the most common lost-and-found items amongst Uber cars in HK?

Hong Kong – Global transport company Uber has launched its newest index which details some of the most common lost-and-found items amongst Uber cars in Hong Kong, conducted across multiple Uber drivers in Hong Kong.

In 2022, phones and wallets remain the most commonly forgotten items. In addition, the index also shows a surge in the number of lost jewellery items, including wedding rings, a Audemars Piguet® watch and a Tiffany heart pendant.

As cashless payments become increasingly popular not thanks to the pandemic, riders have left behind 60% less cash in Ubers this year. Meanwhile, 1 January is crowned the most forgetful day of the year in 2022 and Hongkongers tend to be more forgetful on Fridays – with most laptops left behind on this day as well.

The index also showed that people are relaxed when the weekend starts and tend to forget their valuables. Among the 18 districts, riders in Yau Tsim Mong are the most forgetful, followed by Central and Wan Chai.

“Hongkongers are always on the go, and you will be surprised what’s supposed to be kept in their bags. Parents and caretakers are leaving behind kid items like a dimple fidget toy and a cute pink bunny soft toy, the astrologer who tried to escape the mercury retrograde left behind a string of pink crystal, a winner who lost in the game of lost & found left behind a crystal trophy, and a Calbee fan left behind a Calbee Hot & Spicy Potato Chips tote bag,” the company said, explaining some of the most unique items left by customers.

The index also encourages its customers to always call their driver if they lost items in the car they booked. If they lost their phone on the Uber itself, customers can log in to their account on their computer and contact customer support.

Platforms Featured East Asia

Uber HK’s latest campaign reminds Hongkongers that travelling should not be stressful

Hong Kong – Ridesharing platform Uber in Hong Kong has launched its all-new Uber Taxi ‘Go your way, Live your way’ marketing campaign, aimed at empowering Hongkongers to focus on unlocking meaningful and joyful moments as Uber Taxi takes care of their travelling needs. 

As part of the campaign, heartwarming and joyful photographs of Uber Taxi riders going to places and making the most of their everyday lives will dominate the streets in Causeway Bay, Tsim Sha Tsui and Mong Kok. Uber Taxi’s classic white chevron stripes will also be painted on billboards and taxis across town.

Moreover, Uber has released two campaign videos that resonate with busy go-getters’ life moments. The first 20-second video shows four white-collar ladies rushing to an evening concert after work but hit with the reality of rush hour – the desperate moment when you need to hail a taxi but have no control when you will get one. Right when the group starts panicking that they will not make it on time, one of them books an Uber Taxi.

Meanwhile, the second video shows a typical parent scrambling to get everything prepared for their child’s birthday on a rainy day after work. As the father worries about getting a Taxi in the rain, the mother confidently shows her booked and enroute Uber Taxi, meaning her husband can relax as everything else is sorted – the cake and a present. The couple not only makes it on time to their little girl’s birthday party but are in control of their journey home at the touch of a button with Uber Taxi.

At the same time, Uber has released a survey of over 1,500 riders which reveals nine out of 10 respondents say that Uber Taxi helps give them more control over their trips and daily schedules, and eight out of 10 riders describe their Uber Taxi experiences as ‘generally quite good’ and ‘it’s so amazing I use it frequently’.

The survey also found that respondents the top three ways they use Uber Taxi, ‘for returning home’ was ranked first with 64.4%, followed by ‘for going to work or school’ with 49.8%, and ‘for dining out and social gatherings’ with 38.9%. About 54.2% of the riders also said that not having to factor in whether a taxi is a cross-harbour one or not, or whether they need a taxi during shift change period, is why they prefer to book an Uber Taxi ride instead of hailing a cab on the street.

Uber Hong Kong said, “‘Go your way, Live your way’ aims to inspire riders to reimagine what living life to the fullest can mean as Uber Taxi gives riders the control they need for their daily commute. New Uber Taxi users who want a taste of what stress-free travel means on Uber Taxi can now use promo code TAXI2022 to get 50% off their first five Uber Taxi rides.”

Marketing Featured APAC

AU competition watchdog takes Uber to court over misleading statements on platform

Australia — The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has instituted proceedings in the Federal Court against mobility as a service provider Uber, which has admitted it engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct and made false or misleading representations in the Uber ridesharing app.

Uber has admitted that it breached the Australian Consumer Law by making false or misleading statements in cancellation warning messages and Uber Taxi fare estimates and has agreed to make joint submissions with the ACCC to the Court for penalties totalling $26 million to be imposed.

Between at least December 2017 and September 2021, the Uber rideshare app displayed to over more than two million Australian consumers who sought to cancel a ride a warning with the words to the effect of ‘You may be charged a small fee since your driver is already on their way’, even when consumers were seeking to cancel a ride within Uber’s free cancellation period.

Most Uber services including the popular UberX have a five minute ‘free cancellation period’ after the driver has accepted the trip, in which an Uber user can cancel their ride without incurring a fee.

Gina Cass-Gottlieb, ACCC Chair, said, “Uber admits it misled Australian users for a number of years and may have caused some of them to decide not to cancel their ride after receiving the cancellation warning, even though they were entitled to cancel free of charge under Uber’s own policy.”

In September 2021, Uber amended its cancellation messaging for Uber services across Australia to ’You won’t be charged a cancellation fee’ if users seek to cancel during the free cancellation period.

Additionally, for about two years, the Uber app displayed an estimated fare range for the ‘Uber Taxi’ ride option which Uber has admitted falsely represented that the fare of a taxi booked through that option would likely be within an estimated fare range shown in the app.

In fact, the algorithm used to calculate the estimated fare range inflated these estimates so that the actual taxi fare was almost always lower than that range, and consequently cheaper than Uber’s lowest estimate. The misleading taxi fare estimates were displayed between June 2018 and August 2020, after which the Taxi ride option, available only in Sydney, was removed.

Cass-Gottlieb said, “Uber admits its conduct misled users about the likely cost of the taxi option, and that it did not monitor the algorithm used to generate these estimates to ensure it was accurate.”

“Digital platforms like Uber need to take adequate measures to monitor the accuracy of their algorithms and the accuracy of statements they make, which may affect what service consumers choose. This is particularly important as online businesses often carefully design their user interfaces to influence consumer behaviour,” Cass-Gottlieb continued.

The parties have agreed to jointly seek orders from the Federal Court including declarations that Uber contravened the Australian Consumer Law, and for the company to pay penalties. The Federal Court will decide at a later date whether the orders sought, including the proposed penalties, are appropriate.

Recently, ACCC has also fined Trivago for showing misleading hotel rates on their platform.

Marketing Featured South Asia

Uber India, Dentsu Webchutney launch #WithinHerReach campaign

New Delhi, India – The Indian arm of the ridesharing platform Uber and dentsu international’s digital agency arm Dentsu Webchutney has launched a new campaign called ‘#WithinHerReach’ which aims to make work opportunities closer and accessible to women.

The latest campaign is released as a print ad on the first page of the national newspaper The Hindustan Times and has already started leading narratives on the subject across LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram and among key decision-makers from the workforce.

#WithinHerReach, originally launched by the two companies last year, was in response to the fact that 3 in every 5 women limit their career opportunities within a radius of 1 kilometre from their respective homes – even at the cost of a higher paying job. Evidently, this highlighted the stark gender commute gap among the country’s workforce. 

In response, Uber has decided to drive conversations that support work from home (WFH) as a consistent option for women, driven by the current global states of the world due to the global pandemic. 

“2020 has been a year to forget but it did have one silver lining. More Indian women entered the workforce during the pandemic-induced lockdown, attracted by the possibilities of working remotely and on flexible hours,” said Sanjay Gupta, marketing director for APAC at Uber.

He added, “Participation of women in India’s workforce rose to 37% as of July-end from 30% in April. As we enter the new normal, let’s continue to fuel this momentum and make flexible work and WFH essential elements of corporate India.”

Speaking about the campaign, Priyanka Borah, vice president at Dentsu Webchutney said, “It’s safe to say that geography is history. With WFH and remote-working opportunities, fewer women will feel compelled to drop out of the workforce. And as a result of this, more women will grow into senior leadership roles. It’s taken a pandemic for us to get here – but it’s important we seize this silver lining to move forward.”

Marketing Featured ANZ

Aussie creative agency Special Group debuts Uber Eats’ “Tonight I’ll be eating” campaign in US, Canada

Australia – Special Group Australia has debuted Uber Eats’ “Tonight I’ll be eating” (TIBE) campaign in the United States and Canada, starting with an ad featuring Hollywood superstars Mark Hamill and Patrick Stewart.

The TIBE campaign is the brain child of the agency, and after gaining traction in Australia, Taiwan, and Japan, Uber Eats has decided to add the two countries in the campaign’s audience reach.

In the 45-second spot, Hamill and Stewart who are both in full black suits with a bat in hand are seen approaching each other in a dark warehouse as if on a showdown. Hamill starts delivering a line of “Tonight I’ll be eating,” saying the food he wants to get delivered, then Stewart thereafter. Before they go on a brief verbal showdown, their fierce exteriors momentarily break off as each of their Uber Eats delivery arrives, to say a casual ‘Thank you” and ‘Bravo” to the deliverer. 

The reference is made on the perpetual cultural argument of which sci-fi franchise is better between “Star Wars” and “Star Trek” in which both actors have starred in.

The latest spot follows the same format of past TIBE campaigns. The TIBE ads date back to its early spots in 2017. The campaign has been featuring prominent stars both in Australia and abroad such as British singer Boy George, actress Naomi Watts, and professional rugby league footballer Beau Ryan. The most recent TIBE iteration has global superstar Kim Kardashian-West and renowned Australian character Sharon Strezlecki from the sitcom Kath & Kim gracing the ad, where they are shown having a sarcastic argument on the right pronunciation of the word “nice.”

Hamill and Stewart’s ad follows a series of two other 15-second spots where the two actors compete against each other for the better Uber Eats meal, while simultaneously trying to beat each other at Air Hockey and Connect Four.

Cade Heyde, founding partner of Special Group Australia said, “The ‘Tonight I’ll be eating’ brand platform has had immense success in this market as well as across Asia Pacific. Expanding the platform to the other side of the world is a real honor and an incredibly proud moment for our agency. We couldn’t be more thrilled to share this loved campaign with the US.”

Meanwhile, Head of Marketing at Uber Eats for US and Canada Georgie Jeffreys believes that the launch of the Australia-grown campaign to the US and Canada is a natural progression as TIBE has proven to be a highly effective advertising campaign for the brand.

“It has helped drive record levels of customer penetration and brand affinity in the five markets in which it’s now live, and we’re excited to continue to expand the franchise with this latest launch,” said Jeffreys. 

Joint CCO and partners at Special Group Tom Martin and Julian Schreiber share that for them, the extension of the campaign is no common feat.

“We’re very proud ‘Tonight I’ll be eating’ has become such a cultural phenomenon in Australia and is being taken to the US and Canada. Bringing together two iconic space legends who’s appeal crosses generations feels like the right way to introduce ‘Tonight I’ll be eating’ to the US. It is not often Australian creative work travels to the other side of the world, and we are extremely excited to watch this platform grow,” they said.

Uber Eats is an America-headquartered food delivery platform first launched in 2014. It is the extension of the ride-hailing app Uber.