Uber connects frictionless mobility to aspirations of young India

Uber has launched two campaigns advertising their products UberAuto and UberMoto. The campaign activation has happened across print, digital and out-of-home in a strategic rollout where the brand’s presence is already strong.

Uber has conceptualized both campaigns, it partnered with Ogilvy for the digital film launched for UberAuto and Lowe Lintas for the two films launched for UberMoto. Although, both campaigns are talking about the services offered on the Uber app, Manisha Lath Gupta, Chief Marketing Officer, Uber India says, “the beauty of these campaigns is that they are product campaigns but they actually look like brand campaigns. When you get product advertising right, that’s when the magic happens” in conversation with Adgully.

Being a digital brand, Uber often leverages data accumulated on its platform and analyses it for creative insight. This is what led to the development of the two narratives that closely tie with Uber product offering via Auto and Moto.

UberAuto tagline ‘Badey Iraadon Ki Chhoti Sawaari’

Uber deep dived into the mentality of the middle class and lower middle class who are the obvious users of low-cost carriers in India. These consumers rely on public transport, travelled by foot or used a metro service to reach their destination. In their attempt at decoding the mobility journey of the less affluent consumer, the brand discovered this astounding factoid.

“When did research on women’s mobility, we realized that in India there is still this notion that a woman will always be accompanied by a male member wherever she goes”, said Lath Gupta.

She adds, “There is always a question of lack of safety when a woman leaves the house and the family is always concerned. There were statistics to show that this was affecting woman commuters. We observed that while more women were studying, fewer women were going to work.

 “A recent study done in India that showed that only one woman commutes in India for every four men. That is completely under indexed. In the U.S, the ratio would be closer to 1:1.”

So, with their campaign film, Uber position their Auto services as a carrier that would come to your doorstep so that you wouldn’t have to walk 100-200 meters in search of an Auto and your family could track you on the app to ensure your safety.

UberMoto tagline ‘Sapno Par Hoja Sawaar’

Uber found that less affluent commuters spend upwards of 2 hours commuting to and from their homes to the workplace. These people would use a train, metro and bus service for the bulk of the journey but the big insight was that people are wasting a lot of time in their last mile connectivity because they usually walk that distance to avoid getting stuck on narrow roads and in traffic.

Gupta highlights the universal aspirations of the middle working-class male in India, “When these people first started working, they were under tremendous pressure to start earning quickly. They thought this was not the life that they would have forever, and if I work  to build some skills then I can move up in life.”

On average an UberMoto service would cost the consumer Rs 5 per kilometer so it is well within the ability of middle-class worker to afford transportation.

Speaking about the film, Gupta says, “The TVC has a sort of Gully Boy undertone to it. It is about people overcoming obstacles and invest in improving their skills. These guys didn’t suffer from a glass ceiling but they were held back by something we like to call a sticky floor. We have connected the act of mounting the motorcycle with the aspiration of fulfilling your dreams.”

Marketing strategy

The campaign has gone live on Print, out-of-home and digital and will be on air from December into the first 6 weeks of 2020. While the UberAuto campaign is a PAN India campaign, UberMoto is currently only live in Hyderbad, Kolkata, Chennai, Gurgaon and Noida.

While this is a mass campaign, Gupta emphasizes that the advertisements are ‘rooted in the aspirations of the target audience.’

The brand leverages print to create impact and get the word out, OOH billboards are placed at strategic points where commuters congregate to catch buses or rickshaws. Uber has always used the digital platform for storytelling and the brand will do so once again with a mix of 15-25 seconders and short format 10 seconders to aid brand recall.

Gupta comments, “Today, people consume so much digital media that this really is the place for us to do storytelling.”

Uber has big hopes for their low-cost carrier services which are already growing at a high pace in the Indian market. Gupta observes that looking at the depth of the audience profile who are in want of these services, she expects them to make up the bulk of Uber’s revenue in the future.


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