Spikes Asia

Uber Eats Australian Open Ambush

SPECIAL GROUP, Sydney / UBER / 2019


1 Grand Prix Spikes Asia
2 Gold Spikes Asia
2 Silver Spikes Asia
3 Bronze Spikes Asia
2 Shortlisted Spikes Asia
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Australia literally stops to watch the tennis. And while lots of people swarm to Melbourne to attend the on-ground event. The real event happens on TV in people’s living rooms.

With families, groups of friends and work colleagues gathering around the TV every night to watch the tennis, comes the battle ground for food delivery services. After-all, two weeks of non-stop tennis leaves little time for cooking!

And with Uber Eats decision to sponsor the Australian Open, we wanted to use this iconic event to firmly stake a claim as category leader, normalise and build memory structure between the event and food delivery. And ultimately elevate Uber Eats into a truly iconic, culture-shaping brand.

And we had a bold ambition to cut through the clutter of generic tennis themed promotion and capture the attention of Australians in a way that was ownable.


Our idea was to disrupt and dominate a national, cultural, sport moment with a world-first level of broadcast/event sponsor integration.

We set out to make people watching the Australian Open broadcast, utterly believe they were returning to the tennis after an ad break, only to have it suddenly turn into a dinner order for UberEats.

We didn’t set out to make our films similar to the tennis, but absolutely identical. Each spot begun by seemingly returning to the exact tennis match people were watching. Not just generic tennis, but the specific match. Without warning, it then transformed into the player, camera man, umpire or audience member announcing their dinner order on Uber eats.

Our integration of 14 films into the Tennis was so seamless - viewers wondered if at any time the Aus Open would become an Uber Eats ad.

In other words, we stood out by perfectly blending in.


Our target audience were major cities in metro areas, where Uber Eats is abundantly available. Our target time was the dinner occasion, the prime growth moment for people to try Uber Eats. But why the Australian Open? Australia quite literally stops to watch the tennis, particularly during the big tennis stars matches played at night. It crosses all viewing demographics, appealing well beyond the traditionally phone/app centric age group more naturally comfortable with the Uber Eats online ordering platform.

We also knew people have been ‘trained’ by the same year on year coverage to expect how that coverage looks and feels - the long pauses, the sweeping crowd shots etc. To the point where we could creatively subvert it.

The uniqueness of this premium sporting property’s short-but-ultra-intense 2 week duration gave us the opportunity to do something at a large scale, fast with huge cultural impact.


Never before had Tennis Australia (the event management) allowed a brand to use the actual tournament broadcast crew, cameras, officials and commentators, or to shoot on court.

Never before had an Australian TV-Network had to deliver real-time, live ad placement in a live sporting telecast (with a constantly changing player appearance schedule due to wins and losses!) only at the end of ad breaks, only during games the actual players in the ads were playing in.

Never before had a brand gained access to the tournament broadcast graphics, or featured other sponsors logos so heavily. We negotiated and attempted to use everything exactly the same as the real broadcast in order for our films to appear identical.

We broke rules of media, marketing and sponsorships - accessing assets, the court, the players during the tournament and doing real time placement of ads; all blurring line between broadcast and advertising.


The campaign proved a huge success garnering both national and international media attention with such headlines as being declared “A modern take on product placement” and “Tennis ad a game changer” as well as it being announced that the “Australian Open hijacked by ads posing as a game” and finally “Game. Set. Match,. Uber Eats”. For impact results please refer to the confidential information section as the Uber has requested this remain undisclosed to the public.

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