Uber, the $63 billion American ride-hailing giant, after three years of operations in India is now pacing to fend off its local rival Ola Cabs while also attracting some much-needed attention from its customers. Though the company has previously refrained from media advertising, it has today rather surprised us with the launch of its first-ever brand campaign, titled ‘Move Forward’.

The campaign, designed by advertising agency BBH India, has been inspired by real life stories of Uber driver partners and riders. It pushes for better recognition for the Uber brand and depicts how the ride-hailing service has empowered the partner drivers to lead a better life.

The campaign instead of advertising the features or benefits of switching to Uber’s cab service, taps into the basic emotions of a human and shows how the company has helped solve the struggles of a driver. This tale has been spun so well that it is sure to tug at the strings of your heart. It spreads the underlying message of ‘progress’ with millions of its drivers(and riders). It is extremely different from the recent sexist advert released by Ola, which largely layed emphasis on the low fares it offers.

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The advert shows the life story of a driver, who is driving a young kid to an english medium school. While dropping the kid to school, the story unravels to show that he is actually her father and pursues his Uber partner duties after making the drop. But, the crux of the campaign lies in the fact that Uber has helped the drivers move forward and improve their livelihoods, to the extent that they’re now able to afford English medium education for their children.

Commenting on the launch of the first-ever advertisement,  Ashwin Dias, General Manager of Uber(India) says,

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We thought it would be an opportune moment to launch our brand campaign, riding on our three-year anniversary. We hope to reach out to driver partners and riders both, but primarily catering to the rider audience. 

At Uber, we are deeply committed to enabling our driver partners to improve their livelihoods; and giving riders the freedom of mobility. In this brand campaign we have brought to life our product through stories which will resonate with millions of Indians.

He further goes on to add that the ‘Move Forward’ campaign will be multi-platform, and targetted towards digital platforms, print and even hoardings in public spaces. With this bang-on two minute emotional tale, Uber aims to improve its stance amongst drivers and riders alike. It will help them cross over the recent bumpy ride it has had with the government authorities, due to licencing issues and surge pricing.

Commenting on the development of such a heart-warming advert, Arvind Krishnan, MD, BBH India says,

Uber came to us with a very clear challenge: create work that is true to Uber but will drive a step-change in adoption. The Test being Uber’s first brand campaign in the country, we will reach out to all stakeholders be it driver partners or riders. This is a month-long initiative and there’s a lot more in store.

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The ride-hailing giant has recently been aggressively focusing its attention on Indian and Southeast Asian markets, ever since its exit from China. It is now spending humongous amount of funds from its coffers, to become the leading cab service in these markets. Grab, its SEA rival service has recently also snagged $750 million in funding from Softbank, at a $3 billion valuation.

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