Lyft Debuts Its First National Broadcast Effort

By Erik Oster Comment

Lyft launched its first national broadcast campaign with a new 60-second spot called “Riding is the New Driving.”

The ad shows a young woman trapped in a rather surreal traffic jam. Among the odd sights are a booted car, a man cockily riding in a red sports car that is currently being towed, a zebra, a giraffe and a clown. Fed up with waiting, the woman exits the car and walks along the roofs of several other vehicles to order a Lyft, and is soon saved by her pink-mustached ride (and apparently leaves her car in the middle of traffic).

Lyft creative director Jesse McMillin explained to Adweek that the inspiration for the ad was the surreal ’60s films of directors such as Federico Fellini, Jean-Luc Godard and Jacques Tati. The woman’s claustrophobic feeling in the middle of a traffic jam calls to mind, in particular, the opening scene of Fellini’s 1963 masterpiece 8 1/2, while the circus themes echo that and other films by the director.

The national broadcast effort will target millenials (duh) and run primarily during prime-time hours on networks like Comedy Central, Adult Swim, MTV and Freeform. It will also be supported by an OOH campaign three times the size of the brand’s previous efforts, in 19 markets and 11 airports. 

“For us, this represents the next logical step along the road of just becoming a great global brand and really being a big part of the conversation that’s happening right now about culture and transportation and how all of this stuff is evolving for a generation,” McMillin said.

How many of you guys are very sad not to be working on this account right now?

Update: It appears Lyft worked with Boulder-based agency Made Movement on the campaign.