Brand Management

Uber Egypt Billboard Ads: One word makes all the difference!

Amidst Careem’s fumbling walk on thin ice, after firing its Managing Director in Egypt, Wael el Fakharny. Now is the opportune moment for Uber to seize Careem’s disappointed customers.

Uber should have learned a thing from its US competitor “Lyft”.

According to Mobile Action, a San Francisco-based app data intelligence wrote in a blog post that downloads of the Lyft app peaked on Monday, hitting 191,400, compared to Uber’s 85,400 and negative reviews of the Uber app also spiked on Sunday.

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On Tuesday afternoon, Lyft was still ahead. The Lyft app was ranked number eight among the most popular free iOS apps, while Uber trailed at number 17.

Uber’s epic fail Campaign:

You might have seen Uber’s outdoors campaign on Al Mehwar, the ring road, 6th October bridge or circulating on social media. Uber’s Mother’s Day campaign says “I escaped from driving my mother-in-law home 64 times”.

Angering lots of Egyptians, specifically, using the world “Escape”. As Egyptians we have many social traditions and family duties, that we might not prefer but we still do.  And even those unfavorable duties, we still hold at high value.

In result when a brand uses social traditions in attempt at humor or going bold, more often than not it backfires.

Uber did not only neglect the opportunity to win over Careem’s customers, but they launched a campaign without an ounce of customer perspectives understanding or market insight.

Egyptians teaching Uber how to copyright its campaign:

If the Careem case teaches us anything it will be that integrity and ethics are treasured qualities to Egyptians.  We value brand’s integrity, and when a brand respects and understand its audience it’s a surefire tactic to gain Egyptians’ loyalty.

As well as, for a mother’s day celebration, that is aimed to honor the mother, be attentive and appreciate her even more on this special day.

It is just one day that we postpone the distractions of life to pamper our mothers and mother-figures in our lives.

Launching such a demeaning campaign is a total and epic fail.

And as Sun Tzu said many years ago: “Great results, can be achieved with small forces.”  Egyptians provided Uber various ways how the campaign could have went to avoid such vehemence reaction.

For starters by changing the word “escaped” to “helped” or “drove” would have made all the difference. The power of wording and phrases in a campaign can make or break it. No wonder Uber’s campaign backfired.

What was Uber thinking when launching Mother’s Day campaign that demeans the Egyptian’s mother-figure?

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