It wasn’t long ago that Uber disrupted the taxi and limo marketplace with an upscale, mobile enabled driver service. Known for polished unmarked cars, and a highly interactive mobile app with GPS enabled vehicles, many have been converted from the doldrums of traditional transit to become part of the Uber faithful. I’ve used the service myself and it’s fast, affordable and superior in every way to a traditional taxi.
Now Uber is disrupting another industry in a big way—experiential marketing. While I was sitting outside of the Los Angeles Convention Center recently as an attendee of E3, the Electronic Entertainment Expo, my Uber app showed an intriguing new option. I could order the usual Town Car, an SUV, or a Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.
Of course, curiosity got the best of me and I ordered the Advanced Warfare vehicle, and to my delight, I was picked up and taken for a cruise in a Call of Duty branded Armed Personal Carrier (APC), along with a police escort on motorcycles. This was literally a giant vehicle from the in the video game that came and picked me up and drove me around downtown—for free no less.
This whole experience was actually part of a new marketing campaign. Activision teamed up with Uber for the promotion using UberCOD, an on-demand service that allowed them to immerse people into the Call of Duty experience first-hand.
This was marketing genius on behalf of both companies. Thousands of people a day were posting photos, videos, tweets, etc. and tagging them with #advancedwarfare and #uber hashtags. The viral component of this alone will far outweigh the reach they could have received for a similar investment in traditional advertising.
In an interview with VentureBeat, Activision’s CEO of Publishing, Eric Hirshberg says, “It’s an example of the kind of medium that didn’t exist as an advertising platform a couple of years ago. I’m sure it’ll generate a lot of fun buzz for us.”
It did Eric. Well done. And I’m also looking forward to see how else Uber can leverage this platform. Perhaps a ride in the Batmobile is in my near future?