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Uber launches first major UK TV campaign

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Uber appears to be quite aggressively targeting the UK with its new brand campaign “Where to?” The campaign saw Uber’s first UK TV advert air at the weekend, with a series of out-of-home media also going live from today. The campaign has been developed over the last seven months by Uber’s in-house team, who worked alongside BBH London, and Manning Gottlieb OMD (who worked on the media strategy). The brand philosophy of “Where to?” represents the possibilities available when you open up the Uber app. By putting your city within reach at the touch of a button, Uber helps you be anywhere, effortlessly.

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The TV spot, directed by Kim Gehrig - whose previous work includes John Lewis’ “Man on the Moon” and Sport England’s “This Girl Can,” is centred around the “the effortless journey” and the ad aims to bring to life the simple product truth of Uber: its seamlessness. The film tells the story of Grace and Miles, a young couple on their first date, and uses the track “You’re the Boss” by Elvis Presley to underline how Uber puts users of its app in control.

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The out-of-home concept, which will be going live in London, Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds and Edinburgh, brings to life the ease of using Uber and how simple it is to use the app to get from A to B. Animated versions of this creative will also eventually go live on digital. The national campaign will run for six weeks across TV, out-of-home, online, cinema and press. Uber is available in more than 25 towns and cities across the UK and is used by millions of people every month.

Rachael Pettit, Uber’s UK Head of Marketing, said: “We are really excited to be launching the first chapter of our brand idea. ‘Where to’ represents the endless possibilities when you open up the Uber app and this theme will run through all of the creative work. Millions of people rely on Uber to get a reliable ride at the touch of a button and we wanted to bring this simplicity to life through the ad.” Ian Heartfield, Deputy Executive Creative Director of BBH London, added: “You don't often get the chance to set the tone of voice for a game changing global brand from scratch. It was an awesome brief, one that we wanted to smash out of the park with work that is simple, joyful and above all else, different from everything else out there.”

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BBH was appointed by Uber in March 2016 and produced outdoor work, but this is the first time the agency has created a TV ad for the brand, and indeed the first time the brand has created a TV ad full stop, at least in the UK. The ad was created by Raymond Chan and Simon Cenamor at BBH London and directed by Gehrig through Somesuch.

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Kim Gehrig, the spot's director, said of the shoot: “It's always a privilege to direct a first commercial for a brand as you get to create it's entire world. I love doing that. When we embarked on our film, the brief was to make it look as effortless as possible. We rehearsed for days, and the challenge was how to get our dancers from one end of the set to the other in 60 seconds. As the film is one shot we had nowhere to hide. Every action and movement needed to be efficient, telling the story and getting us through cars as quickly as possible. Every scene needed to have its own story as well as move us through the set. We designed the set to start feeling real, then it deconstructed as the film progressed. The more our couple fell for each other, the simpler the set became. The car’s always a portal to a new location. It was a lot of fun to do, even though it took all day and night to achieve one shot.”

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