4 May 2013, 3:58pm
Startups
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Uber Takes on Lyft with Aggressive “Shave the Stache” Mobile Billboard

This morning at brunch Kevin remarked to me that he’d been seeing a lot more Lyft cars (a donation-based private P2P taxi service) around lately – so I was surprised at the coincidence when just an hour later the driver of the locally famous Disco Lyft car shared an this image (above) of a mobile ad billboard for competing car service Uber with the comment:

I’m proud to be a part of a community with a bit more tact in their marketing and recruiting.

#lyftLOVE
#UBERfail

Read the full Facebook thread here

What do you think – is Uber taking things over the top, or a clever tactic? It sounds like Lyft must be doing something well if they’re raising the hackles of a much more established, albeit startup, car service company. At first I actually thought it was an ad for Lyft before I read the copy (and who really has time to read ad copy anyway). The biggest problem with shaving a mustache? It grows back.

Photo Credit: Matthew Earnest

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I think the ad begs a bigger question: has Uber decided to embrace its reputation as the bad guy? Maybe it’s a misconception on my part, but when I notice Uber in the news it seems the articles are negative as often as they are positive: The surge pricing and bristly response, the whining about New York and Stockholm regulatory challenges, the San Francisco strike, the photos of Travis with unsavory characters, the ad above, and on and on.

How many of you would characterize your impression of the Uber brand as “friendly”?

I don’t see how Uber will be able to survive with how they are taking things. As Justin said, “Has Uber decided to embrace its reputation as the bad guy?” I think they have, but I think that it will be the death of them in the long run.

I recently deleted the Uber app from my phone due to a consistent subpar experience every time I ride in one. The drivers clearly do not understand the city and often take indirect or traffic filled routes. Not what I expect from a premium service with premium prices.

Also like the article points out, this ad campaign does a better job of promoting Lyft than it does Uber. Why would you use their brand icon in your ads?

epic illustration work on the razor. WTF? #perspectivefail #moneywellspent

[...] competition. It’s gone so far as to hire a mobile billboard to drive around San Francisco, urging Lyft drivers to “Shave the ‘Stache” — that is, to shed the pink mustaches that adorn Lyft cars — and join its platform [...]

[...] competition. It’s gone so far as to hire a mobile billboard to drive around San Francisco, urging Lyft drivers to “Shave the ‘Stache” — that is, to shed the pink mustaches that adorn Lyft cars — and join its platform [...]

[...] competition. It’s gone so far as to hire a mobile billboard to drive around San Francisco, urging Lyft drivers to “Shave the ‘Stache” — that is, to shed the pink mustaches that adorn Lyft cars — and join its platform [...]

[...] its competition. It’s gone so far as to hire a mobile billboard to drive around San Francisco, urging Lyft drivers to “Shave the ‘Stache” — that is, to shed the pink mustaches that adorn Lyft cars — and join its platform [...]

[...] competition. It’s gone so far as to hire a mobile billboard to drive around San Francisco, urging Lyft drivers to “Shave the ‘Stache” — that is, to shed the pink mustaches that adorn Lyft cars — and join its platform [...]

[...] competition. It’s gone so far as to hire a mobile billboard to drive around San Francisco, urging Lyft drivers to “Shave the ‘Stache” — that is, to shed the pink mustaches that adorn Lyft cars — and join its platform [...]

[...] competition. It’s gone so far as to hire a mobile billboard to drive around San Francisco, urging Lyft drivers to “Shave the ‘Stache” — that is, to shed the pink mustaches that adorn Lyft cars — and join its platform [...]

[...] its competition. It’s gone so far as to hire a mobile billboard to drive around San Francisco, urging Lyft drivers to “Shave the ‘Stache” — that is, to shed the pink mustaches that adorn Lyft cars — and join its platform [...]

[...] and doesn’t view Sidecar as a threat. Uber has gone after Lyft aggressively, putting up “shave the stache” ads and rolling out free Uber X services for the month of September in the new cities Lyft [...]

[...] no secret that Lyft and Uber are sworn mortal enemies. Travis Kalanick ensured that when he ran a “shave the ‘stache” campaign and rolled out free UberX services for September in all the new cities Lyft moved into. [...]

[...] Uber felt threatened enough to launch this ad campaign in San Francisco. If the comments are any indication, it went about as well as Sylvester the Cat's bird-eating [...]

[...] since Lyft’s inception, Uber has gone after it. From a Shave the Stache campaign to an anti-fist bump ads, Uber has pulled out all the marketing stops. When Lyft [...]

[...] businesses that move people. Uber and Lyft compete among each other as well. Uber’s “Shave Your Stache” campaign, which relates to the talisman of Lyft, is a great example of their battle for users [...]

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