Lyft Amplifies Diverse Creators With New Cab-Top Campaign

Ongoing visual program kicks off through partnership with Ava DuVernay’s film distribution company

One of the recent movies promoted in the campaign is Residue by director Merawi Gerima. Lyft/Array
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Lyft is committing to support minority creators and artists by amplifying their work atop New York taxi cabs.

The rideshare company’s original content development arm has launched an ongoing creative campaign that uses Halo by Lyft, the brand’s outdoor advertising platform that brings targeted marketing to LED smart screens on cabs. The brand has kicked off the initiative by partnering with Array, filmmaker Ava DuVernay’s independent distribution company that spotlights films by people of color and women.

Austin Schumacher, head of brand marketing at Lyft, said the initiative was born from the brand’s previous sponsorship of Array’s pop-up drive-in screening series in Los Angeles in August.

“As a continuation of that partnership, we wanted to find a way to amplify the stories and voices of diverse creators through our platform,” Schumacher said. “Oftentimes, creators might not have access to large media budgets, so we want to provide that opportunity and do it in a way that’s interesting for people viewing the ads themselves.”

The digital car top screens currently display rotating video content tied to two Array films recently released on Netflix: Lingua Franca by director Isabel Sandoval, about an undocumented trans Filipino caregiver who seeks to marry for a green card; and Residue by director Merawi Gerima, focused on an aspiring filmmaker working on a script about his childhood who returns home to find an unfamiliar neighborhood.

Lyft has also committed to donating 10% of all media inventory to minority creators over the first year of the program.

Schumacher said after the Array promotions, the brand plans to partner with creators who specialize in other mediums such as television and music.

“What’s particularly interesting about this campaign is these types of car top screens have traditionally been used for mainstream ads,” Schumacher said. “With these smart screens, we want to make sure we’re giving these artists the visibility to promote their new work.” Ian Zelaya is an Adweek reporter covering how brands engage with consumers in the modern world, ranging from experiential marketing and social media to email marketing and customer experience.