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We introduced London to a new type of commute

Uber Boat

what we did
  • Campaign concepts
  • Campaign development
  • Multi-channel campaign roll-out
  • Copywriting
  • Photo shoot
  • Social media concepts

Having worked with Thames Clippers in 2019, they came back to work with us on another campaign, this time under a different guise. Now known as Uber Boat, they were still the TFL’s ‘River Bus’, serving both commuters and tourists in London across 23 piers from Putney in the west to Barking, their soon-to-be-opened newest, most easterly pier. But despite the new name and new brand, challenges remained. While tourism numbers were great, the challenge of informing, attracting, and convincing commuters was the main focus. An issue made even more challenging in a post-Covid, working from home world. Our task was to create a campaign aimed squarely at commuters of all ages coming from either side of the City.

Working with a great product

On the face of it, commuting on Uber Boat is a no brainer. Compared to other modes of transport – the underground and buses in particular – Uber Boat has much more space, comfortable seating, and amazing views of one of the world’s greatest cities. You can bring your bike on board, and your dog. You can stand outside and enjoy some fresh air, or enjoy snacks or drinks – coffee in the morning, G’n’T on the way home. Uber Boat by Thames Clippers is a real game-changing alternative that can take the stress out of getting to and from work. So why weren’t people using it?

Uber Boat - Ever sailed...

Understanding the challenge

The simple issue was visibility. Listening to the client and digging into their research, it seemed like even with those who lived close to piers, awareness was particularly low. So our challenge was to create a campaign that not only resonated with potential customers, but was seen by them first and foremost.

Thames Clippers Uber Boat - Dog Stories

A simple and effective solution

We knew two things about this campaign right at the start. Firstly, we had a brilliant product to sell, and secondly, we had to speak straight to the heart of our target audience. We were all raw, battered and bruised coming out of a series of lockdowns, so we knew convincing people to not only want to go back into their offices and studios was tough, let alone convincing them to try something new and unknown. The concept was simple. Based around the idea of ‘have you ever?’ we posed a series of questions about the London commute that we knew could only be answered with ‘no’, with Uber Boat being the only option that could give a positive answer. In doing so we could highlight each of the many reasons to book, and have a little fun with copy too. From our initial presentation to the client, we knew we were onto something when they got a bit emotional about it all.

Uber Boat - Ever had space...

Looking the part

Working within Uber’s visual identity, we knew that copy and imagery – and their relationship with one another – was where we could make our mark. We needed images that showed off London as well as the product and with luck on our side, we enjoyed an unseasonably sunny winter’s day for a photoshoot to capture just the shots we needed.

Uber Boat - Ever had this...

Seen in all the right places

Working with our media partner AMS, we devised a media plan that sought to maximise the budget. In addition to out of home advertising in and around piers, as well as in prominent locations in nearby underground stations, we also used location-based digital advertising to serve up ads on the phone of the right demographics when they were within a certain radius of a pier.

Uber Boat - Ever counted...

A job well done

The strategy, the creative, and the media plan combined to produce a series of brilliant results, that had a reach way above the client’s targets. Coming under budget, we delivered 71% more impressions (almost 3 million) across printed and digital OOH, and 138% more clicks and 40% higher click through rate on digital advertising. Our Barking-specific ads performed highest, showing that the promotion of the newest pier worked, with the plethora of comments and engagement on social further emphasising it.

71%

more impressions

138%

more clicks

40%

higher click through rate

Thames Clippers Uber Boat - Underground Ad

Where

The Garment Factory
10 Montrose Street
Glasgow G1 1RE

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