You would have figured what I’m talking about by reading the title of this blog. Recently we witnessed interesting tactics used by Uber Technologies Inc. in India. The transportation network company was certainly successful in grabbing many eyeballs with their recent PR campaigns. It is a different story on how they were received.
While the campaigns were interesting, one of them received a mixed reaction. I am going to reserve my opinions on how I really felt about it and just state facts below:
On 8th July this year, Uber partnered with Dogspot.in – a pet care company to give 15 min hook-up time to pet-lovers with puppies. A similar campaign was executed in the United States of America in the beginning of the year which received a positive response. However, I personally saw a mixed reaction when it was executed in India. While some dog–lovers were extremely kicked about this effort others scorned at it and labeled Uber as a company, insensitive to the feelings of puppies. Uber did mention in their official blog that there is an option of adopting those puppies. The volunteers accompanying the pups also carried adoption request forms with them, in case the pet-lovers wanted to keep them. I also noticed a few negative posts being removed by some people after they were posted which I think they did when they came to know about the adoption option. Overall the #uberPUPPIES gained significant share of voice on the digital platform and was covered by one of India’s most read news portals – Times of India and Hindustan Times.
This was the most recent communications effort implemented by Uber. On July 23rdh 2015, the company decided to deliver ice-creams on-demand in 58 countries of the world for one day. The promotions covered 250 cities in total, this year as against 140 in July 2014. The overall reaction in 2015 seemed positive except in a few countries where they could not meet the demand. In India #UberIceCreams were delivered in 6 cities including Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai. They partnered with several ice-cream brands globally and in India they joined hands with premium ice-cream brand Haagen-Dazs. The activity managed to generate a lot of excitement amongst its consumers. It was the first time Uber got this idea to India.
One take away, from both the activities conducted by the company is that ‘Engagement is must’. If a company is able to engage with their audience and is able to tickle their emotions in a positive way then they can go far and beyond in creating a place for themselves in their lives. It is important for a customer to feel that a brand cares for them and values their sentiments.
– Radhika Nandwani
Radhika is the Corporate Communications Advisor at Dell’s Performance Analytics Group. She started her career in 2011, with one of the leading PR firms of India – MSLGROUP, specialising in technology brands. The campaigns executed by her while at MSL, have won several PR industry awards including SABRE and PR Week Asia. In her last role, she was the founding team member and the marketing communications manager at SCoRe. Radhika is an English graduate and holds a Master’s degree in Mass Communication. She loves reading and is passionate about gender equality, food and Bollywood. She can be reached at @RadhikaNandwani on Twitter and here on LinkedIn