Cannes Lions

Move What Matters

MEDIACOM, New York / UBER / 2020

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Case Film
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Uber certainly wasn’t the only company facing a unique challenge during the pandemic, but when your whole business is based on people going out and governments around the world are telling them they have to stay at home, you have an extraordinary challenge.

What do you do? What are the business priorities when the business grinds to a literal halt?

Our mission was to find something positive in the COVID 19 lockdown


We had to instigate a boycott against our own product.

And it had to happen immediately. In such a way that people would know that this was Uber’s pro-active decision. It mustn’t look like a company slowly, grudgingly, bowing to the inevitable. (Because it wasn’t).

The best boycotts are social in nature, so we activated it like a social movement. We prioritized and intercepted the surge in social media usage to get people talking about the importance of not moving.

Then we reinforced this with communications around our role in the crisis: to keep people from moving while also allowing Uber to “Move what matters.”


Speed to market was paramount - our campaign had to go live within 48 hours.

Phase 1 - “This Video isn’t moving. Neither should you.”

To grab attention, we ran a static ad in formats where people would expect to see a video. We told them: “This Video isn’t moving. Neither should you.”

Our static video ad stopped people in their tracks and stopped them using Uber.

Phase 2 – “Move What matters.”

We added the message that Uber ‘Moves What Matters’ – letting people know that by not using the product, they were helping Uber provide essential journeys and delivering meals to the people on the frontline.

Uber was providing 10 million free meals and rides for essential workers.

We identified the most trusted and politically neutral news sources so that our message would appear where trust equity is highest: including full-page manifestos in the New York Times.


Throughout the industry and Uber’s business, the campaign was seen as a resounding success.

With measurement limited by the speed of activation, two sources were utilized for campaign effectiveness

1. YouGov: Uber experienced the highest impression score to date, and highest reputation score for the past four years during the campaign.

2. Social Listening: Positive or neutral sentiment accounted for 97% of measured reactions.

Additionally, the campaign was picked up in trade publications like Adweek, AdAge and won Twitter’s ‘Best Campaign for Driving Positive Social Change’ award.

‘Move what Matters’ also helped launch an ethos at Uber – take a stand, take action, have an impact and make a difference. It has and continues to run through subsequent campaigns such as ‘No Mask, No Ride’ and ‘If you tolerate racism, delete Uber.’

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