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Uber Encourages Partygoers to Celebrate Responsibly in New Social Campaigns

Image credit: BBH

From #DeleteUber to sexual harassment allegations, the Greyball scandal and a recent European court ruling that declared it a transportation business and taxi service, it’s fair to say 2017 has been a pretty rough year for Uber.

In a bid to rebuild its deeply damaged reputation, the Silicon Valley-based ride-sharing platform has rolled out a series of campaigns targeting drinking and driving during the holiday season.

Building on its previous partnership during the 2015 Superbowl, Uber launched a designated rider campaign with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) ahead of the holiday season, calling on partygoers to celebrate responsibly and keep roads safe by committing to be a “designated rider” — and leaving the driving to a friend, family member, public transportation or Uber.

“We want to help join designated drivers with designated riders because when combined, they are making the roads safer for everyone,” said Kate Parker, Trust & Safety Executive at Uber, in a statement.

The company also teamed up with Absolut Vodka in the UK to create an extension of its digital #AbsolutNights campaign to encourage the under-30 cohort to stay clear of the steering wheel after drinking and enjoy a safe journey home. The video shows riders getting into the holiday spirit on their way home, belting out classic Christmas tunes in the back of decked out Uber taxis.

According to Toni Ingram of Pernod Ricard UK, Absolut’s parent company, under-30s are the group most at risk of drinking and drinking. “We know digital media is the best way of engaging them, so we’ve devised a fun social campaign they can relate to in order to divert away from drink-driving and instead highlight how much fun journeys home should be,” said Ingram.

In addition to social media campaigns, Uber is providing riders in New York state with incentives to make safe rides this season. By taking the Safe Rides Pledge, passengers are entered for the chance to win free roundtrip rides in participating cities (up to $50 each way) for 20 friends, family members or colleagues to and from a holiday event.

Though Uber still has a long way to go before it can fully restore its relationship with both riders and drivers, these campaigns demonstrate a step in the right direction — and some very calculated marketing. With its carefully chosen partners and message, Uber is able to position its ride-sharing platform as a meaningful solution to a prominent issue, and show that it is not just a mere transportation company, but a force for good.


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