Uber brand engagement ‘Arriving now’ but it may be short lived

Uber Truly Deeply

Uber creates another in-car brand touchpoint with their magazine ‘Arriving Now’.

Similar to the airline magazine, Uber has started to create and curate content for their New York audience. But is a magazine format sustainable today?

Uber Truly Deeply brand

Many brand owners are now realising the benefits of creating and/or curating relevant content. Done well, the right content can build a stronger sense of community, demonstrate value and help build brand engagement.

However, most companies today are investing in digital assets. Even the commuter newspapers are now gone.

Uber has gone the other way and seems to be creating a print-only publication. There is no online version yet.

Uber is promoting the first edition as “packed with pro tips, hotspots, and exclusive details about upcoming promotions”.

While a high quality magazine could add to a more premium sense of the Uber brand experience, the content would still have to be fairly compelling to make it truly worthwhile.

Being stuck on a plane for an hour or two with no phone or wifi (which is gradually changing as well) the airline magazine still makes sense. But with the relatively short journeys in an Uber it also hard to see how this could be as effective. Encouraging customers to take it home won’t be easy either.

It will be interesting to see how Uber uses its content publishing arm to promote its own products, sell advertising, generate extra revenue. Most local taxi services (Uber’s competitors) already doing this with TVs and other forms of electronic media. Mind you, this is still ripe territory for Uber to explore.

Still, we applaud a brand who likes to swim against the current and particularly one who is looking for ways to enhance the brand experience. After all, there is much room for improvement on the local taxi entertainment offering!

Uber launched ‘Arriving Now’ in New York last week to coincide with Fashion Week. It is using New York as a test before considering rollout, and presumably tailoring the content, to other locations.

Michael Hughes
Managing Partner, Strategy

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