A new partnership between Uber and mattress company Casper this weekend highlights how the app is increasingly becoming a advertising platform for brands.
The Labor Day Sleep on Demand campaign runs in New York City from Aug. 29 to Sept. 1 to take advantage of what is apparently the biggest time of the year for mattress sales. At-home shoppers can type the word "UBERSLEEP" into the Uber app, choose their mattress, then track the delivery truck’s progress as it heads their way. The mattress will then be delivered within one hour.
New Yorkers curious about Casper mattresses are also able to take a "test drive" in one of the wandering Bedmobiles, a decorated cargo van with mattress in tow, described as a bedroom on wheels.
Casper is just the latest brand to leverage Uber for one-off campaigns. Lay’s recently ran a two-day initiative that doled out free picnics in New York and Target used Uber for a music-themed effort in July.
Casper has made a powerful friend with Uber, the San Francisco-based company which, in the five years since its launch, has grown to be worth $17 billion and expanded into 35 countries. Yet despite its success—including the $1.2 billion it recently raised—Uber’s legitimacy and business practices are called into question, which could spook some brands from using it as a marketing platform.
Uber is under fire lately for their behavior concerning Lyft, an Uber rival with a similar business model. As CNN Money reports, Uber allegedly ordered and cancelled more than 5,000 rides from competitor Lyft, an accusation that Uber openly denies. While on the surface this seems like a tactic designed simply to upset Lyft's business, analysis suggests it’s also part of a greater strategy to poach Lyft drivers for the ever-expanding Uber army.
Whether the accusations are true or not, Uber continues to expand into new ventures, as with the Casper partnership.
While Uber is well-known for disrupting the transportation industry and even challenging logistics leaders like UPS, FedEx, and USPS, Casper is still making a name for itself.
Launched in April, the New York-based company sells a single type of mattress in different sizes online, with a price range of $500 - $950 that undercuts beds-based giants like Sleepy’s, Serta, and Simmons, reports Yahoo Tech.
The emerging player offers a 100-day money-back trial to encourage customers who are skeptical about the unknown company, but are unable (or unwilling) to try the Bedmobile.