Cannes Lions

Snowstorm

M&C SAATCHI, Sydney / UBER / 2022

Case Film
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Overview

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Overview

Background

Background: The face of innovation.

From the outside, Uber is the epitome of innovation, the original disruptor. A magnet for entrepreneurial minds the world over. But as we discovered through this process, on the inside was a different story.

Brief: We’ve lost our mojo.

Internally, the global tech giant’s gargantuan growth, swagger and storied culture of fearless innovation had been suffocated. Like with many businesses growing up, silos emerge, shareholder commitments distract and the pursuit of profitability takes over, eroding their culture and what had once made them great.

Objective: Reignite a culture of innovation.

If Uber were to have any hope of innovating for the world of tomorrow and retaining their brightest minds amidst the great resignation, they needed to reignite a culture of innovation fast.

Challenge: Reconnecting the disconnected world

2021 saw the world of work truly blow up. Remote and flex work became business as usual, but creative culture hadn’t been designed to work-from-home let alone one in jeopardy. Compounded by a global pandemic, Uber employees were disillusioned and disconnected, having lost the spark and culture that first attracted them to Uber.

Strategy

Here come the OG’s

To understand how we’d lost our way global Qual research was conducted with OGs, early employees, which unearthed the chasm between the original promise and practice of disruptive innovation and the current reality of incremental efficiencies.

Back to the start.

At the beginning of most successful business stories is an act of fearlessness. A moment of brave abandon that defies circumstances and constraints to find a new way. Uber’s birth was no different.

Power of Uber’s inception

In 2008 Uber was conceived in a snowstorm in Paris. A collision of brutal weather and frustration when a taxi could not be found. And whilst simulating freezing weather for staff wasn’t feasible, harnessing the power of creative collisions was. So we set about creating the optimal conditions for innovation.

Forget OG’s, decentralise innovation

Innovation and ideation are normally limited to a select few at the top, with the results cascaded down to inspire the many. But it occurred to us that the process of coming up with ideas is equally as inspiring as the output.

If our goal was to reignite an organisation-wide culture of innovation, then why not engage the collective imagination and invite everyone to participate?

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