With a fresh approach Uber’s most recent campaign has caught out attention. The days in which Uber stood as a mode of luxury transport are long gone, and the campaign marks a shift in the company’s tone.
“Get there with Uber” has been distributed across the country and features real life Uber users talking about their everyday Uber stories. This ranges from busy mums talking about their shopping trips to entrepreneurs discussing how Uber has helped them with their businesses. The brand has also published a production video on their YouTube site to highlight just how real these people are.
Uber has changed direction from wanting to provide people with the chauffeur experience, to focusing on giving them the freedom to do what they want every day. As Uber’s take on luxury always felt slightly dated, we think this move is culturally on point and more reflective of how people actually use the brand.
Whether it’s as simple as helping people get home from nights out, or enabling them to take bigger steps like move house, Uber is making it easier for people to do the things that matter to them. Their new campaign highlights and celebrates this fact, showing they appreciate what is most important to the everyday Uber user.
More and more companies are looking to use technology that replicates the workings of the human brain in order to improve their customer experience. Whilst this has been prevalent for some years now, through the personal assistants on smartphones such as Apple’s Siri and Google Now, a number of brands are creating technology that is edging increasingly closer to resembling human carbon copies.
The recently opened Henn-na Hotel in Japan is staffed by 10 humanoids developed by a company called Kokoro, the robots can check in new guests, carry their luggage and even clean their rooms, all the while being polite and hospitable. The robots themselves look like real humans; they can speak Japanese, Chinese, Korean and English and alter their tone and body language based on human requests.
This Japanese bank has become the first in the world to use robots in its branches with the introduction of NAO, a humanoid that had been designed to improve service for customers. The robot was developed by the Paris based company Aldebaran Robotics SA and it can even understand emotion by reading customers’ facial expressions and the tone of their voice.
Self-driving taxis are definitely on the horizon as more and more major players announce plans to develop their own auto pilot models. Just last week google confirmed they are developing a self-driving car they hope will be able to compete with Uber. Uber themselves have also started work on a self-driving project, recently hiring 50 staff from Carnegie Mellon University to work on it.
Why this is interesting…
The argument for humanoids and chatbots within businesses is strong. They are cost effective and can provide a higher, more efficient level of customer service. However, there are some who are of the opinion that the human mind is far too complex and emotional to try and replicate. Last week saw the first person to be killed behind the wheel of a Tesla autopilot car, suggesting the debate is going to only heighten moving into the future.
Each year brings with it a decline in newspaper sales and a decline in TV news viewership, but ‘news’ as a type of content has never been more sought out. As we increasingly move away from the printed page to the screen, and simultaneously from television to mobile, the way in which the news is packaged is changing too to adapt. Here are a few of the media organisations that are paving the way when it comes to innovative methods of communicating the news:
VICE News – Gonzo journalism
VICE is known for its irreverent, say-it-like-it-is style, both in terms of what they write about and how they write it. When they launched VICE News, they lost none of their trademark style, speaking about complex and serious issues in a jargon free manner. VICE News’ style reads almost like a direct affront to the traditional objective reporting styles employed by almost all ‘big’ news outlets.
Snapchat – News from the front line
Snapchat LIVE Stories are being well utilised to cover the US Presidential Election race. The team’s internal news team curate the thousands of videos uploaded from the front line before compiling them into strings of news content. The ubiquity of Snapchat’s citizen journalists gives the company access to the heart of stories, whether that’s at the front line of a candidate’s Q&A session or behind closed doors at a fund raiser. Where traditional news companies present an overly refined and official view of the news, Snapchat presents the rough and ready real story.
BuzzFeed – Data driven news
Early this year, Buzzfeed and the BBC made an accusation that match fixing at the top end of men’s tennis had been rife for years. They didn’t have a whistle-blower’s testimony or receive some leaked documents. Instead, they built an algorithm and analysed data from 26,000 matches from the past six years before overlaying it with publicly available betting data from the world’s most popular betting shops. Buzzfeed’s Data Science mine vast data sets and create algorithms to find out news stories that would otherwise be hidden forever. Data sources don’t change their story or hold back the truth.
Why this is interesting…
As new forms of news communications become more popular, traditional news brands are starting to feel increasingly outdated. Whilst news media has always been a lucrative space for brands to place their advertising, they will need to adapt too to make the most of the new innovations that are shaking up the category.
Izzy Pugh, Head of Cultural Insight & Marilyn Dutlow from Added Value in South Africa have recently unpacked from an international and local perspective how Starbucks are creating a place and a mind-set that feels like the heart of a community.
Read the full article at The Media Online! on how Starbucks are successfully creating cultural value. (http://themediaonline.co.za/2016/05/the-starbucks-way-of-forming-communities-be-creating-cultural-value/)
In the pursuit of creating something genuinely useful for people’s lives, brands sometimes need to put their label’s name aside if its presence would have an obtrusive impact. L’Oréal and LVMH have both taken note of this fact and launched online initiatives that remain uncredited:
FAB by L’Oréal
L’Oréal has launched FAB (flair, artistry, beauty), an unbranded beauty hub which showcases industry professionals creating trends all over the world 24/7. The website targets the general public as well as beauty industry professionals and the multi-media content puts a spotlight on the expertise of all these ‘artisans of beauty’.
NOWNESS by LVMH:
Nowness is an established global video channel showcasing the best in culture reaching from art, design, fashion and beauty to music, food and travel. Both established and emerging filmmakers create content that conveys storytelling designed to provoke inspiration and debate.
Why is this interesting?
It’s not L’Oréal or Louis Vuitton that people care about, it’s the lifestyle they create that’s important. With the initiatives listed above, both brands have created something beyond just their products and stepped into the real world they want to be a part of. By doing this they are not just existing in culture but helping to create it themselves, which is the perfect way for a brand to fully embed themselves in the lives of its followers.
After a turbulent and troubled time, high-street department store British Home Stores (BHS) has filed for administration. The sad news has got us thinking about how a British home store could best adapt to make itself indispensable within culture and cater for the real British home.
- Own a good night in:
Technological advancements have made the prospect of a good night in more irresistible than ever before. Services such as Netflix, Deliveroo and even Tinder have eliminated many of the reasons people would feel the need to leave the comforts of their living room for a night on the town. Collaborating with services such as these to help create the perfect night in shows an appreciation for the changing landscape of entertainment.
- Make home improvement a celebratory affair:
The British are notorious for the pride they take in their homes, which underpins a relentless pursuit for improvement. A recent study conducted by wooden-blinds-direct.co.uk found that 84% of people would change something about their houses. These changes don’t need to amount in a giant upheaval, they can be small as the same survey found that 83% of people said they would probably be happier if they could change just a few things about their homes. By understanding the emotional connection we have with our homes, brands can provide simple yet personable solutions for enhancing our homes. Dulux has achieved this with their colour of the year campaign which elevates the colour a person chooses to paint their walls into a style statement.
- Understand the home can be fluid:
There is a generation of people in Britain that feel excluded from the housing market with many no longer aspiring to own their own home. This has lead to the concept of the home becoming more fluid. A home is no longer necessarily about having four walls and a plot of land, it is something that can be taken with you.
We love the idea of a shop aimed at the British home, but to have real cultural traction it’s crucial for them to understand that the British home itself is ever evolving and shifting.