Uber has launched its first UK TV advert directed by Kim Gehrig, and a series of animated ads using illustrations by Jack Hudson, Serge Seidlitz and Tom Haugomat. It all forms part of a campaign by BBH London, MG OMD and Uber’s in-house team, with VFX and design by The Mill, titled Where to?.
Kim Gehrig is known for landmark ad campaigns such as John Lewis’ Man on the Moon and Sport England’s This Girl Can, and spoke at It’s Nice That’s annual symposium Here in 2016 (click here to watch the talk). Her film for Uber is themed around “the effortless journey”, telling the story of a young couple on their first date, soundtracked by Elvis Presley’s You’re the Boss. With a theatrical, La La Land feel, the choreography and fluid transitions across the 60-second spot aim to show the seamlessness of a night when Uber is at hand.
“The brief was to make it look as effortless as possible,” Kim says. “We rehearsed for days, and the challenge was how to get our dancers from one end of the set to the other in 60 seconds. As the film is one shot we had nowhere to hide. Every action and movement needed to be efficient, telling the story and getting us through cars as quickly as possible.
“Every scene needed to have its own story as well as move us through the set. We designed the set to start feeling real, then it deconstructed as the film progressed. The more our couple fell for each other, the simpler the set became. The car’s always a portal to a new location. It was a lot of fun to do, even though it took all day and night to achieve one shot…”
The accompanying animated and print ads use the three illustrators’ fun, colourful and character-driven styles to show the same idea. Three spots feature a character going from one part of their day to another in an unexpected way: a man zip-lining from a club to his bed; another guy sliding down a bannister from work to a date, and a woman kicking off her heels to leap onto a slide into a swimming pool.
Ian Heartfield, deputy ECD for BBH London says, given the chance to set the tone of voice for the campaign, they aimed to make it “simple, joyful and above all else, different from everything else out there.”