Traffic > Gridlock

Uber really, really wants us to ditch our cars

It has an ironic marketing campaign called ‘Unlocking Cities’

Uber likens cars to boxes. We're filling our world with boxes, the firm says in a campaign. SCREENSHOT FROM UBER

So Uber—everyone’s favorite ride-hailing service provider that doesn’t want to recognize government authority—wants us to now get rid of our cars. Seriously.

The company has a marketing campaign called “Unlocking Cities,” and has even put up a dedicated website for it. The website—which basically reminds us of the PowerPoint presentation we used to prepare for unreasonably fastidious clients—aims to brainwash convince us that our megalopolis already has too many cars, and it’s now time to hate them.

Let’s go through the slide presentation.

Uber used the word 'together' so we'd all feel like this campaign was a team effort. SCREENSHOTS FROM UBER

I would wholeheartedly agree with this “Stop Owning Private Cars” lecture if it had been made by a nonprofit group commissioned by, say, the Asian Development Bank. But this is Uber we’re talking about. The same “contumacious” foreign company that, only in August this year, admitted having 66,000 cars running around Metro Manila. Of that number, only 2,500 had provisional authority from the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board. Which shows Uber doesn’t care about our roads being clogged with cars—AS LONG AS THOSE CARS ARE UBER CARS.

So yeah, nice campaign, Uber. Everything you said in this elaborate advertisement is correct. But don’t fool us into believing you want private cars discarded because you want our cities “unlocked.” You want people to stop using cars because you want them to take Uber rides instead. Or because money.

There. Just setting things straight.

Vernon B. Sarne

Vernon is the founder and editor-in-chief of VISOR. He has been an automotive journalist since July 1995. He became one by serendipity, walking into the office of a small publishing company and applying for a position he had no idea was for a local car magazine. God has watched over him throughout his humble journey. He writes the ‘Spoiler’ column.