"We want to bridge the gap between driver and rider": Ashwin Dias, GM, Uber India on 'Move Forward' campaign

By Suraj Ramnath , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Digital | September 23, 2016
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This ad film, created by BBH, gives you a peek into the life of your Uber driver.

Tried an Uber to reach that destination of yours? In case, you haven't, check out the cab-hailing service's latest digital campaign. You just may call for an Uber soon.

Uber, the smartphone app that connects riders with drivers, recently released a digital film under its 'Move Forward' campaign. The digital film is conceptualised by BBH India and produced by the agency's in-house production house Black Sheep Live.

The film, which is inspired by stories and experiences of Uber riders and drivers during their trips, begins with a father dropping his daughter to school in a car. Once that's done, he sets off for the day as an Uber driver.

The brand plans to further release some more digital films as part of the 'Move Forward' campaign. The campaign will also be promoted through print and the OOH platform.

Talking about the campaign, Ashwin Dias, general manager, Uber India, says, "The overall theme of the campaign is 'Move Forward'. What we want to talk about is to empower people across various sections of society to achieve their goals and do their best to advance and build a better life for themselves. Uber is just one such sort of enablement mechanism for the various things that they do."

Dias says that the reason to start off with this film is to portray the impact that the brand's riders have with its driver/partner community. "The film is based on real life stories. It is about giving our drivers an opportunity to earn a livelihood which is dignified and flexible. In addition, we also want to portray that our driver/partner's interaction with passengers is very different from that of other drivers," says Dias.

According to Dias, passengers talk much more with Uber drivers as compared to other drivers. "That was the main thing we wanted to talk about and at the end of the day, the quality of a passenger's experience is paramount to us," he says.

Talking about the quality of drivers and technology, he says, "There are multiple elements like the quality of technology that we control, the quality of the car, and the kind of driver we provide that we wanted to talk about, as well as bridge the gap between the rider and the driver."

In a country like India, educated individuals or entrepreneurs are respected, but the job of a driver is not exactly enviable. We asked Dias if through the campaign, Uber was asking people to treat the job of a driver as dignified and respectable.

Ashwin Dias

Russell Barrett

Arvind Krishnan

Dias says, "The people who are on our platform are typically those who own their own cars. We are trying to project this as entrepreneurship. Someone who can buy his own car (drives for livelihood) is also an entrepreneur, and is equal to someone who owns a hotel, right?"

Speaking about the campaign, Russell Barrett, managing partner and chief creative officer, BBH India, says in a press release, "Working on a brand like Uber has been an amazing experience. Given how ubiquitous the service has become, we had hundreds of ideas, but we decided to go with this concept because people will be able to relate it with their own Uber experiences. It's a simple, yet powerful idea."

Barrett tells us about the concept. "The idea: People are doing brilliant things across the country right now. People from every walk of life, from every strata of society are moving forward in fantastic ways and Uber, as a service, is right there, being the vehicle for their ambitions and dreams. The first film called 'The Test' is one such story. It's a story of a driver, who we realise only later is an Uber driver and a dad. It's a story that could very well be the story of any one of the thousands of Uber drivers across India. We hope, that as the campaign unfolds, we are able to tell more and more stories about people who are themselves moving forward," says Barrett.

Arvind Krishnan, managing director, BBH India, says in a press release, "Uber came to us with a very clear challenge -- create work that is true to Uber, but will drive a step-change in adoption. To help scale the service in India (and possibly, beyond) we had to create an organising idea that will work for driver partners, as well as for riders. We worked hard on uncovering the voice of Uber and the rest of the campaign flowed from there. The team had to don many hats in this process and having an energetic, digitally native team made it a memorable one."

Carlton D'Silva

We asked our digital expert Carlton D'Silva, chief executive officer and chief creative officer, Hungama Digital Services, if it is a good idea for the brand to show the driver's perspective as compared to the rider's perspective in the ad.

"I believe it's a refreshing thought from the conventional kind. The purpose for this communication is different, and to my mind, it solves two objectives -- being an Uber driver is a respectable profession, and projecting the quality of Uber drivers as the differentiating factor from its competitors," says D'Silva, who feels that trusting your driver is a big deciding factor during your travel.

"If we can see Uber drivers in this light, it gets us one step closer to make that choice of using an Uber," he says.

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