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  1. Driving around in circles

Driving around in circles

The TVC shows how those riding in an Uber are made to feel comfortable with its drivers looking to take care of them in every situation.

By: | Updated: August 22, 2017 4:33 AM
Brandwagon, Brandwagon stories, Travelling is exciting, travelling is liberating, travel company, Samurai lessons, guests can travel, global company The TVC shows how those riding in an Uber are made to feel comfortable with its drivers looking to take care of them in every situation.

The Ad

The TVC shows how those riding in an Uber are made to feel comfortable with its drivers looking to take care of them in every situation. From an elderly lady hailing the cab to a young office-goer asking the driver to wait for two minutes, the musical narrative of the ad talks about how Uber takes care of everyone’s needs — whether it’s picking one from the airport, to adjusting the ambience in the vehicle and accompanying one on big occasions like weddings or even if it is just buying groceries from the market. It further establishes the same by showcasing a pregnant woman travelling in an Uber and the driver being careful during the journey before highlighting the brand name and its proposition.

Target Audience

18+ years, pan India

Business Objective

To reframe the narrative around personal mobility and freedom by positioning Uber as a viable alternative to private car ownership, drive frequency for the business, and highlight the connect between driver partners and riders.

The Appeal

Functional

Emotional

Sensorial

With the idea of Apnapan as its core theme, the TVC plays heavily on the emotional quotient. Inspired by real rider and driver partner stories, the ad brings out heart-warming experiences of Uber India users.

Competitive Edge

While the brand’s earlier digital campaign — Move Forward — spoke about the supply side of the business, the focus in this ad campaign seems to be targeted towards the demand side by positioning Uber as ‘your own car’ and making people rethink about private car ownership. Uber consciously stays away from talking about pricing strategies or talking about its different segment of vehicles, etc. Cab aggregators like Ola and Meru have not come out with very striking communication lately, with the last memorable TVC being Cashless Chalega India by Ola. Uber’s new integrated marketing campaign could help drive brand connect and relevance as its user base increases.

Tone of Voice

Emotional

Verdict

Right from safety issues to disgruntled drivers to competition to its leadership challenges, Uber is battling it all. Thus, it seemed surprising that in its first-ever television commercial, which is a part of an integrated marketing campaign, the cab aggregator chose to stay away from addressing such issues or reassuring the viewer and went down a different route altogether. Agreed that Uber might not want to focus on negatives in its first TVC, but bringing to life the underlying emotional connect between the cab aggregator, its riders and driver partners does not seem realistically appealing.

However, we do notice an underlying hint in the campaign wherein the brand tries to reinforce that it’s a service one can rely on. While it attempts to woo new users, the jarring branding in consecutive shots at the end of the campaign, instead of seamlessly integrating within the ad, becomes an overkill of sorts. Moreover, the ad does not seem to be saying anything new or highlight any unique features.

Using the ‘we care’ philosophy is probably as old as the concept of advertising itself and has been done to death by brands across categories. What perhaps works for the brand is that it tries to address the problem of people seeing cab aggregators as luxury and an indulgence. By positioning Uber as your own, it attempts to make users comfortable in every situation, big or small. With the brand dealing with a lot of pain points currently, expectations from its first TVC were pretty high. Looks like Uber needs to up its game!

Rating: 5/10
Agency: Taproot Dentsu
Brand: Uber India
Campaign: Apnapan
Production House: Red Ice

Chandni.Mathur@expressindia.com
@chandni_mathur

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