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The Volkswagen up!: The Uber Test Ride

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The new Volkswagen up! is a car that’s made for the city and the people who live in it. They don’t go to dealerships anymore. They look online, buy what their friends have, inherit what their parents have, or use bicycles, taxis and public transport. To launch the Volkswagen up! to them, Ogilvy & Mather Cape Town decided to reach them where they were. On their phones. Partnering with Uber, we created the Uber Test Ride, allowing people to get a free ride in the up! to where ever they needed to go.

Rather than expecting them to go to the dealership, we found an innovative new way to bring the car to them. Once inside, they could experience the car for themselves, take in its spacious interior, elegant design finishes, and see its suitability as a quick city run around.

Using a broad mix of media – from TV stings and radio ads, to online banners & mobi banners, tweets, Facebook, direct email and a campaign microsite, we directed people in our 3 major cities (Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban) to a page where they could download the Uber app.

Once the app had downloaded they simply entered “UBERUP” as their promo code and started requesting free rides.

The activation ran from March 2nd - March 9th, with 20 up!s split across Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban. Cars were available between 3 and 11pm to maximize the likelihood of bigger groups of friends requesting an Uber up!

There were so many test ride requests (more than 12,000 requests in 6 days) that we repeated the activation a few weeks later (April 15 – 19th) to meet demand (demand outstripped supply by 8 to 1 across the campaign).

1910 people test rode the up! Through out the activation demand for test rides outstripped supply by 8 to 1. The average value of earned media for #Uberup was over R3 770 000, generating a return on investment of 20:1. That’s almost seven times the industry average.

The Uber up! campaign generated over 16 million Opportunities to See the car, and in just two weeks, our retail market share raced from 0% to 11%.

The up! is a convenient car for the city. And we gave people a convenient way to test ride it.
Credits Other credits

Michael Hanslo Front End Developer

Will Roos Back End Developer

Matthew Browning Account Executive (PR)

Nazneen Ahmed Account Manager (PR)

Adele Kruger Account Director (PR)

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