Uber is returning to the Super Bowl for the third consecutive year with a 30 second spot featuring Sean “Diddy” Combs aimed at getting customers to sign up for its Uber One membership program. The Uber One program provides savings on Uber and Uber Eats services and well as access to other benefits and special offers.
The ad takes a unique creative approach by opening with three executives trying to convince Diddy to write a song for the brand. Diddy insists that he does not do jingles but is told that what the company wants is a hit song for Uber One, not a jingle. Diddy, known as a major hitmaker, becomes determined to write the hit and then draws on some of the catchiest songs spanning the 1990s to 2010s.
Diddy proceeds to producee the song with appearances by including Montell Jordan (This is How We Do It, 1995), Kelis (Milkshake, 2003), Donna Lewis (I Love You Always Forever, 1996), Haddaway (What is Love, 1993), and Ylvis (What Does the Fox Say, 2013). Each artist sings a clip from their hit with lyrics alluding to Uber One while interjecting humor along the way.
Georgie Jeffreys, Head of Uber Eats Marketing, US&C, provides the rationale for the brand buying another Super Bowl ad. “We’re thrilled to be returning to the Super Bowl for the third year in a row with a focus on Uber One, our membership program,””she says, “ As there’s no better place to amplify a message than during the big game, we thought it was the perfect opportunity to share Uber One with the world. And, since it’s always a good time for everyone to save — especially now — Uber One offers members significant savings across Uber and Uber Eats as well as other perks and benefits.
The ad is also designed to make an impression and reinforce the position of Uber One. Jeffries asserts, “Uber One is all about savings. It’s the ultimate way to save across Uber and Uber Eats — and in addition to savings, members get access to special benefits and perks. We launched Uber One back in late 2021 and while we’ve seen millions of people reap the benefits of membership, we still had some work to do to get the word out. As music is the most efficient memory hack, we thought what better way to get Uber One stuck in everyone’s heads than with a hit song? So, that’s exactly what we set out to do. If you listen the lyrics of each hitmaker’s song in the ad, you’ll hear the benefits that Uber One provides to members.”
In a year where the vast majority of Super Bowl ads combine humor with “A” list celebrities to the point of some ads being formulaic, this ad does have a unique element related to its brand of nostalgia. Because of the Super Bowl’s mass audience of roughly 100 million viewers, most ads attempt to appeal to wide range of consumers. Often, when invoking nostalgia the approach is to use older celebrities older than millennials (e.g., Dave Grohl, Joan Jett, Ozzy Osbourne, Steve Martin, Will Ferrell) or send ups of older themes such as the movies Caddyshack and Clueless. Basically, the celebrity or cultural event is older but of a nature that all ages can relate to. This ad takes somewhat of an opposite approach in that most of the music appeared in the formative years of millennials as opposed to older consumers. Yet, because of the use of catchy, “stick in your head, “ mega-hit songs, it is likely that consumers of all ages can relate to the ad. This approach may be particularly especially effective with millennials while not slighting or alienating any other group.
Jeffries believe Diddy was the right choice as the central celebrity in the ad. “As one of the most notable music producers, Diddy immediately came to mind as the perfect person for this role,” she observes., “He’s synonymous with hit songs and as an industry magnate, he has an extensive network of musicians, singers, songwriters, and more to tap to create a hit song.”
Pertaining to nostalgia, Jeffries says, “We absolutely aimed to tap into the nostalgia of these hit songs. These particular songs were massive hits when they were released and they’ve transcended generations in popularity. Our goal was to bring joy and humor to the audience, and we think we accomplished that.” The approach is, indeed, unique, and should resonate with consumers.