There seems to be a worrying trend emerging.
Plain expression models promoting brands are popping up everywhere. Staring down at us on our commute. Watching us from the back of toilet doors. Interrupting our relaxing browse through a magazine, it is an endless disruption.
Following on from the uninspiring ‘Trivago woman’ who in no way spurred us on to book a hotel, rather the opposite, causing uproar among advertisers and creatives alike. Standing vacantly beside a search engine she got under the skin of many in the industry and she was not easy to ignore. Her face has been plastered all over the tube stations in London as a constant reminder on our commute of the lack of creativity, leaving us all wondering “How the hell did that get signed off?” To my dismay the Uber Eats team seem to have taken their advertising cues from the comparison site too.
Rather than enticing us with tasty takeaway they have punted for a bearded man, iPhone handset and brown paper bag instead. A bizarre tactic supposed to encourage us commuters on our way home to sack off our cooking plans, ignore the fridge full of food and order with them instead. Frankly it hasn’t worked on me.
The man who has just received his Uber Eats order looks more like he’s just received the wrong order as opposed to someone who can’t wait to tuck in to a delicious meal. He almost appears to be holding back the tears as he clutches his bag, possibly because an unwelcomed lamb bhuna has arrived in place of his chicken madras, a sinking feeling we have all encountered. However, I doubt this was the reaction Uber Eats were trying to evoke and it hardly encourages trust in Uber’s newest venture.
Unlike their competitors Just Eat, Deliveroo or Hungry House – Uber have focused not on the food but how it gets there – an uninspiring brown paper bag. Not exactly the sexy part. I don’t care how my food arrives, it could arrive personally chauffeured in an Aston Martin or thrown on the back of a bike for all I care. All I care about is it arrives on time, hot and tasty. Yet the main focus of these ads is the Uber name, and seemingly the reassurance that as a well-known taxi service it will be ‘delivered easy.’ Should we expect anything less from a takeaway service where that is their only job? I mean it’s not like they’re having to cook it.
If I’m not mistaken an ad for takeaway food should make you feel hungry? And probably, most importantly, involve food. This lacklustre brown paper bag hardly gets my taste buds tingling, likewise to the Shutterstock sushi on the screen. I might be more willing to download the app to order my ‘delicious food’ if I could see some of this elusive delicious food they speak of. Not to mention the poorly imposed logo on the boring brown paper bag.
I believe awareness of this issue needs to be raised, before we are subjected to any more shoddy ads. Let’s hope we can put a stop to this before the creative world as we know it go into hiding to avoid these type of adverts.
For the time being I think I’ll stick with Uber to get me from A to B rather than for my dinner plans.
Sophie Hockridge is strategy manager at TLC Marketing