Uber's new campaign comes after a spell of bad publicity for the darling of the sharing economy. The brand continues to expand and thrive, but news stories about labor relations and its running battles with regulators and the taxi industry have threatened to dent its reputation.
Its "Beyond 5 Stars" campaign is a way to set the balance straight and put Uber's people at the centre - specifically, some of its best drivers. In a series of short films that spotlight and reward its most complimented drivers, Uber makes a virtue of the personalities and human quirks of the people behind the wheel.
We tested two of the ads - "Meet Anna" and "Meet Fred". Would the ads land emotionally with our sample and sell Uber as a people business?
Our viewers certainly loved the commercials - 71% said "Meet Anna" made them happy. "This is so sweet" said our most popular comment, "She cares about her riders and Uber cares about her." Other comments were similar - "it's fantastic that there's still someone who cares about other people." A small minority were unconvinced or neutral, but even they often appreciated a well-made ad - "I hate Uber but it's a good story". "Meet Anna" still hit 5-Stars. So did "Meet Fred", suggesting Uber is onto a winning format here.
What makes this ad better than previous driver-centric Uber campaigns? On our Creative Guidance Dashboard it would score high on Character and Story Arc - Anna is very likeable and there's a big burst of happiness when Uber gives her her reward. The ad also makes strong decisions on Soundtrack - it would be easy for an ad about a music lover to lean in to that element, but not everyone is as mad for smooth jazz as Anna, and the spot lets her passion show without needing to overstate the music.
Beyond 5 Stars? For Uber, 5 will do.
Like all our FeelMore50 ads these were self-funded tests on already released campaigns, not commissioned by any brand.