Uber Marketing Communication Mix

By John Dudovskiy
July 21, 2021

Uber marketing communication mix comprises print and media advertising, sales promotions, events and experiences, public relations and direct marketing.  Uber marketing communication mix is aimed to associate using Uber services with cost-efficiency, effectiveness and convenience.

Uber Marketing Communication Mix

Uber Print and Media Advertising

Uber uses traditional print and media advertising sparingly, mainly concentrating on social media and word-of-mouth marketing channels. Nevertheless, the global taxi technology company still uses TV ads, newspapers and magazine ads, posters and banners in selected locations.

The ride-hailing giant is known for unconventional advertising techniques. These include putting ads on drones and having them taunt drivers stuck in traffic in Mexico City.[1] Marketing campaign “Boxes” as metaphor for excessive traffic jams in Asian cities, where the ad proposes ridesharing as a key part of the solution has been praised as innovative and appealing.[2]

At the same time, Uber’s use of advertising has proved to be controversial in several instances. For example, a billboard in Egypt which says “I escaped from driving my mother-in-law home 64 times” was found to be offensive by local people[3]. In France, campaign offering men free rides with ‘incredibly hot chicks’ has been criticized as sexist, resulting in an apology from Uber France.[4]

Recently, the largest mobility platform in the world started advertising Uber Eats services through selected radio channels in selected locations promoting earning potential through the service. Uber also uses celebrity endorsement in print and media advertising in an occasional manner. For instance, in 2018 the company signed an endorsement deal with Virat Kohli, captain of India’s cricket team to serve as Uber brand ambassador in India.[5]

Uber Sales Promotions

Uber uses various sales promotions techniques in an integrated manner. For the largest mobility platform in the world discounts, loyalty programs, promotions, refunds, and  credits provided to end-users who are not customers totalled  USD 1.4 billion,  USD 2.5 billion, and  USD 2.0 billion for the years ended December 31, 2018, 2019 and 2020, respectively.[6]

Uber sales promotions include the following:

  • Promo codes. Promo codes are distributed to the users allowing users to have a discount for their next ride.
  • Loyalty program. “Uber VIP” is exclusive to those who are actuallyloyal – customers who’ve taken over 100 Uber rides. The benefits include special access to the highest-rated drivers among others. By the end of 2020, the company had more than 5 million members for its Uber Pass, Eat Pass and Postmates unlimited membership programs.[7]
  • Free rides. Users can earn free rides by inviting their friends to sign up and ride with Uber

Uber Technologies Inc. Report contains a full analysis of Uber marketing communication mix and Uber marketing strategy in general. The report illustrates the application of the major analytical strategic frameworks in business studies such as SWOT, PESTEL, Porter’s Five Forces, Value Chain analysis, Ansoff Matrix and McKinsey 7S Model on Uber. Moreover, the report contains analyses of Uber leadership, organizational structure and organizational culture. The report also comprises discussions of Uber business strategy, ecosystem and addresses issues of corporate social responsibility.

Uber Technologies Inc. Report 2021.

[1] Kiefaber, D. (2016) “Uber Is Putting Ads on Drones and Having Them Taunt Drivers Stuck in Traffic” AdWeek, Available at: http://www.adweek.com/creativity/uber-putting-ads-drones-and-having-them-taunt-drivers-stuck-traffic-174136/

[2] Nudd, T. (2017) “Uber Thinks Inside the Box in Its Big New Ad About Car-Clogged Cities” AdWeek, Available at: http://www.adweek.com/creativity/uber-thinks-inside-the-box-in-its-big-new-ad-about-car-clogged-cities/

[3] Uber Egypt Billboard Ads: One word makes all the difference! (2017) Think Marketing, Available at: https://thinkmarketingmagazine.com/uber-egypt-billboard-ads-one-word-makes-difference/

[4] Withnall, A. (2014) “Uber France apologizes for sexist promotion offering men free rides with ‘incredibly hot chicks’ as drivers, Independent, Available at: http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/uber-france-apologises-for-sexist-promotion-offering-men-free-rides-with-incredibly-hot-chicks-as-9813087.html

[5] Dixit, P. (2018) “Despite Losing Money, Uber Just Signed An Endorsement Deal With One Of The World’s Most Valuable Athletes” BuzFeed News, Available at: https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/pranavdixit/uber-endorsement-deal-with-virat-kohli

[6] Annual Report (2020) Uber Technologies Inc.

[7] Annual Report (2020) Uber Technologies Inc.

Category: Marketing