Tilda Swinton and Jordan Peele Spend Quality Time Orbiting the Moon in W+K’s Latest for Lyft

The year is 1971, and the mission is Apollo, in these odd-couple ads

It's the second round of W+K's first campaign for the ride share brand. Lyft
Headshot of Patrick Coffee

When last we heard from everyone’s favorite pink ride share company, Lyft was traveling the Oregon trail with Jeff Bridges, who was waxing philosophical about the evolution of transportation. 

Wieden + Kennedy follows up on that effort by fast-forwarding 135 years into the future. This time, they tie the process of calling a car with an app to the space race of 1971 that saw NASA spend extended periods exploring the moon for the first time.

In place of The Dude, Lyft recruited odd couple Tilda Swinton and Jordan Peele to play the roles of driver and passenger, respectively, while riffing on the fact that every trip, no matter how small, stems from a series of decisions.

As before, Lyft positions itself as the more reputable of the two big ride share companies without mentioning its rival Uber by name. But the message is clear. 

In reality, cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman in space by orbiting the Earth 48 times in the summer of 1963. And Sally Ride would not fly on the Challenger until more than a decade after the Apollo missions that inspired this campaign. 

Beyond the TV spot, which has been airing during today’s NFL games, “Riding Shotgun” also includes a series of 15-second social media-ready shorts that make the most of this scenario. Peele again plays the comic relief to Swinton’s straight-shooting pilot, referencing present-day technology in order to remind us—as in the Bridges campaign—that Lyft is very much a modern company.

That said, nothing transcends time and space quite like Norman Greenbaum’s 1969 hit “Spirit in the Sky.”


Agency: Wieden + Kennedy New York
Client: Lyft
Campaign: “Riding Shotgun”

Executive Creative Director: Karl Lieberman
Creative Directors: Stuart Jennings, Laddie Peterson
Copywriter: Matt Simpson, Pepe Hernandez
Art Director: Alison Joseph, Blair Warren
Head of Integrated Production: Nick Setounski
Content Producers: Alison Hill, Alexey Novikov
Head of Strategy: Dan Hill
Strategy Director: Tass Tsitsopoulous
Account Team: Samantha Wagner, Jasmine Cogdell, Lee Ford
Communications Planners: Karlo Cordova, Neil Sawhney
Project Manager: Kristin Daly
Traffic Director: Sonia Bisono
Head of Business Affairs: Patrick O’Donoghue
Business Affairs: Michael Moronez, Carla Curry

Production Company: Biscuit
Director: Noam Murro
Executive Producer/COO: Shawn Lacy
Executive Producer: Holly Vega
Line Producer: Jay Veal
Production Supervisor: Jen Berry
Director of Photography: Phedon Papamichael

Editorial Company: Arcade Edit NY
Editor: Jeff Ferruzzo
Editor (Social Videos): Laurel Smoliar
Sr. Post Producer: Gavin Carroll
Assistant Post Producer: Arlene Perez
Executive Producer: Sila Soyer
Editorial Assistant: Samuel Barden

VFX Company: The Mill
VFX Flame Lead: Keith Sullivan
Nuke: James Cudahy, Ting Jung-Hsu, Vi Nguyen, Sungeun Moon
Executive Producer: Chris Kiser
Producer: La-Râ Hinckeldeyn
Production Coordinator: Ashley Goodwin
CG Lead: Ajit Menon
CG – Modeling/Texturing: Constance Bensen, Ivan Joy
CG – Animation: Hannah Lee
CG – FX: Yimo Xu
CG – Lighting/Rendering: Billy Dangyoon Jang, Juan Carlos Barquet

Telecine Company: Company 3
Colorist: Tom Poole

Mix Company: Sonic Union
Mixer: David Papa

Music: Spirit In The Sky
Artist: Norman Greenbaum

@PatrickCoffee patrick.coffee@adweek.com Patrick Coffee is a senior editor for Adweek.