Cannes Lions

scUber: The world's first ride share for the reef



1 Shortlisted Cannes Lions
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Watch the news and you'd think the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) was destroyed.

Whilst it's true climate induced bleaching has impacted the Reef, the true story is more nuanced, and large portions remained unaffected and beautiful.

Yet media globally were reporting that false narrative that due to climate change the Reef was in jeopardy - dead already, or dying soon.

This misperception was rapidly driving down visitor numbers from key markets - extremely concerning for Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ), since the Reef supports 64,000 jobs and contributes approximately $6.4 billion to the Australian economy every year. Every tourist who visits the GBR contributes an average $6.50 to conservation efforts.

For the good of the reef we needed media channels across the world to change the image and show the real Reef.


Consumer research revealed global travellers would 'rethink the reef' if...

1. They could see the Reef live and in all its glory

2. Media who previously covered the bleaching of the Reef confirmed it's healthiness

3. Travellers were shown ways to tour the Reef without impacting it

To deliver this, we proposed an electric submarine with a 260° window that offered a never-before seen view of the Reef, in a sustainable fashion.

This unique form of travel, and those lucky enough to ride it, would be able to capture the world’s imagination and provide media with an unfiltered lens of the Reef in its authentic state which could be easily broadcast to their audiences.


An underwater submarine is cool.

But we knew that the story wouldn’t be successful if the submarine was only accessible to media.

To create a global story it had to be bookable by consumers.

To achieve this at the scale required we needed one important partner on-board – the world’s largest ride-share platform, Uber.

With only 8 weeks until the launch of the campaign, we pitched the concept and proposed a partnership to deliver an idea with global newsworthiness and scale: scUber - the world's first ride-sharing submarine.

Together we worked to relocate an electric submarine from the USA to Australia, integrated the campaign into Ubers platform to make it bookable and co-developed the media strategy, incorporating teams and media relationships in each international market to reach Ubers 50M global users and millions more through the creation of videos and stills for global newswires and owned and earned channels.


36 media from six key international markets were invited to the Reef.

All they were told was that Tourism and Events Queensland was launching something amazing.

We took media to our launch location on the Reef - Heron Island - where we had installed WiFi, power and infrastructure to support a global press room.

Media were kept completely in the dark until the press call.

At which point the submarine, branded with TEQ and Uber, rose from out the water. On board was the Queensland Minister of Tourism to announce the campaign.

Media learned about more initiative from key stakeholders at TEQ, Uber and Reef scientists at an interactive panel session.

Simultaneously, a 48hr global press office was managed from Heron Island, with ground support from state government, TEQ and Uber’s offices in each key market. to deliver mass media coverage in each market on day of launch.


The scUber campaign brought together tourism and technology for a greater purpose.

It set Tourism Events Queensland apart from other tourism localities and attractions locally and globally, by increasing their relevancy and appeal to their target market through the use of smart partnerships and earned at the heart of the idea.


• Educate and drive awareness of the GBR’s abundant marine life across six key western markets with a target reach of 100M.


• More than 4.5 Billion potential media impressions across key western markets.


• Drive advocacy around the GBR, among tier one media outlets globally, with a focus on consumer titles to achieve positive balance against the negative noise.


• 4,320 earned media placements. Generated via national TV, print and online stories, across key western markets.

• 95% of media stories were positive or neutral in sentiment

• Positive GBR social sentiment grew from 21% to 62%.


• Create a ROI of $40M in AdvertisingStandard Rate from earned channels alone.


• $130M+ earned media value generated.


• Increase consideration and travel intent to the GBR among our high value traveller.


• Tourism numbers are growing again +4% YOY

• Travel partner sales increasing (UK travel sales +22%)

• 152,000 competition entries over a two week period

• 700,000 website views over an eight week period

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Shortlisted Cannes Lions
scUber - The world's first bookable rideshare submarine

PUBLICIS, Brisbane

scUber - The world's first bookable rideshare submarine


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