Uber Urges Riders to Stay Home So It Can Help Those in Need

Rideshare company commits to 10 million free rides and deliveries for coronavirus relief

The "Uber Stop Moving" campaign includes a 15-second static video. Uber
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As public health agencies and government officials encourage social distancing to slow the spread of coronavirus, Uber is urging its millions of riders to stay home while it pledges to help healthcare workers and those in need.

The rideshare company created “Uber Stop Moving” with agency Wieden+Kennedy, and has launched the campaign across all of its social channels, which include black-and-white PSAs and mastheads on YouTube and Twitter resembling static video.

The mastheads have a clear message: “This ad isn’t going anywhere. Neither should you. Stay home if you can. Together we can end this virus.” Uber has also released a 15-second static video version of the ad:

“Our message with this campaign is pretty simple: Stop moving,” said Thomas Ranese, vp of marketing at Uber, in a statement. “We felt it was particularly relevant for a company whose brand stands for movement to reinforce this important message. And we don’t think you can repeat it enough—which is why we took to being provocative with static ads in video placements to get through to people.”

The PSAs on Uber’s Instagram and Stories, as well as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn channels—and a print ad in The New York Times—urge consumers to stay home while the brand shifts its efforts to help healthcare workers.

Uber, with the help of its drivers, couriers and restaurant partners, has committed to providing 10 million free rides and food deliveries to healthcare workers, seniors and people in need around the world.

“At the same time, we are there for people who need us right now. As such, we can move what matters by getting healthcare workers to the hospital and food to seniors and people sheltering at home,” Ranese said in a statement. “Uber will always be there. But right now, we’d rather you stay home if you can, so that together we can end this virus.”

Uber also announced plans to extend free rides and delivery services to food banks, hospitals and other organizations in need through email requests. The brand’s additional efforts to help those impacted by COVID-19 include supporting local restaurants by waiving delivery fees for more than 100,00 eateries in the U.S. and Canada on Uber Eats; and critical goods shipped through Uber Freight in the U.S. will be hauled with zero-profit pricing by the company, while the current Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration hours-of-service suspension is in place.

Uber isn’t the first brand to launch a campaign urging consumers to stay at home during the pandemic. The state of Oregon, ViacomCBS and Nike have all come out with creative ways to urge people to practice social distancing.

ian.zelaya@adweek.com 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.