Adweek is reporting that Uber struck a deal with out-of-home ad-tech company Adomni that will place ads on the roofs of about 1,000 vehicles in three cities starting April 1. Is this an April Fool’s Day joke? Not according to Adweek.
Business models evolve; Uber started as a way to help black car drivers become more efficient. It worked so well that the company started adding other classes of vehicles. Today, there are Ubers priced from very reasonable prices (Los Angeles) to just under traditional car service prices (NYC). However, price alone is not the entire consumer promise. The promise is an unmarked, safe, comfortable, chauffeur-driven vehicle. A little bit of luxury for us common folk. But Uber is burning cash at a five-alarm rate. So… how do you feel about ads on the top of the cars?
Is an ad on the roof of your Uber on-brand? Would it change the way you think about Uber? Would it change the way you use the service? Would you switch to another ride-sharing service because you didn’t want to be in a “taxi,” which is why you ordered a car? This is why it’s a test in three cities (as opposed to a widespread roll-out).
In practice, Uber is cash-strapped, and the company could really use the additional revenue. It will suck for Uber users, but we’ll get used to it. Have you been in ride-sharing vehicles with non-alcoholic, hotel-style mini-bars? The one I was in last week had all kinds of junk food and soft drinks available for a credit card swipe. The mobility industry is evolving. We’ll have to evolve with it.
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Author’s note: This is not a sponsored post. I am the author of this article and it expresses my own opinions. I am not, nor is my company, receiving compensation for it.