Cannes Lions

Who's your Cabbie

VMLY&R, Dubai / RTA / 2021

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70% of the cab on Dubai’s roads are local taxis that come under the jurisdiction of the Road Transport Authority of Dubai (RTA). These selfless cabbies have been doing an exemplary service of transporting citizens during pandemics even as many services have shut down. But cabbies jobs could be thankless careers where nobody even knows who they are. So much so, that they are called names that aren’t even names – ‘Sir’, ‘Boss’, ‘My friend’, ‘Taxi Driver’.


RTA, Dubai’s transport authority, wanted to recognize their taxi drivers as heroes that keep the city moving. During the pandemic, when the entire city stood still, taxi drivers were a saving grace to the people of Dubai.


It’s important to give them a sense of identity that goes beyond just being a nameless behind-the-scenes worker. To ensure that the taxi drivers of Dubai felt truly appreciated and moreover, recognized.


We needed to find a way that gave our city heroes something that would encourage them; something that had long-term value; and something they, as well as yellow-cab taxis all over the world never really had – their name.

Our idea was to replace 4 monotonous letters on the top of taxi cabs (TAXI) with the name of the driver behind the wheel.

This small change in design with a big heart ushered in a sense of inclusion, humanizing their job, garnering respect, and reaffirming purpose to their essential career.


Even though our campaign ran after the lockdown, Dubai was still not back to its operational 100%. So we created an online video to draw attention to and amplify our initiative and shared it on RTA’s social media channels – a way to show people at home the change we brought to our streets.


As Dubai was on the road to recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, the city was opening up as people were getting vaccinated in numbers. We wanted to implement our idea at this time so that people would not forget the heroes that got them through lockdown and have always been there for them by keeping the city moving.

The idea was implemented on yellow-cab taxis in the city. We changed the existing 4 letters ‘taxi’ to the name of the driver (Kumar, Iqbal, Samir, among many others) behind the wheel. The lightbox became a medium that communicated the idea on every corner, highway, and neighborhood block in the city.


For the first time ever, a campaign catalyzed mainstream conversation around Dubai’s cabbies and their contribution to the city’s frontline efforts.

The campaign went beyond ‘names’; giving cabbies a sense of identity even as it became the #1 Trending topic in Dubai.

All, at zero media, spend. It “earned” 67.3 Million Earned Media Impressions within just 3 days.

It generated 46% of its global views in the MENA region and continues to be seen & shared in 33+ countries including the other Emirates of UAE, USA, UK, India, Canada, Jordan, Pakistan, Egypt, Palestine, Qatar, Lebanon, Saudi, Bangladesh, Turkey, and the Philippines.

RTA's taxi rides increased by 73%; indirectly becoming the biggest customer acquisition drive in RTA’s history.

A small sample survey among cabbies revealed that ‘propriety & quality of customer interactions increased by 81%

RTA’s Approval Ratings increased by 91% - an all-time high.

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2 Dubai Lynx Awards
Who's your cabbie

VMLY&R, Dubai

Who's your cabbie

2022, RTA

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