Ad Innovation: Uber Deploys Drones Carrying Ads During Traffic Jams

Oct 19, 2016 09:29 AM EDT | Sovan Mandal


Uber has found a new unconventional method of targeting motorists with ads - drones that hover over motorists while holding a printed message. That also makes for a novel use of the new age flying machines too, it must be said.

Not surprisingly, all of the messages seen so far try to extort motorists to give up on the ownership mode of car travel, urging instead to using carpooling services such as that of Uber.

"The city for you, not 5.5 million cars," one of the ad reads. Another one gone like this: "Driving by yourself? This is why you can never see the volcanoes." Clearly, Uber wants Mexicans to sit back and enjoy the ride while someone else does the driving for you, according to Digital Trends.

Now Uber also has grand plans to get people moving and is already testing driverless cars for the same. The future as contemplated by the ride-hailing service is that there would be a fleet of self-driving cars that users can book via its app with everything from the pick-up to the drop-off at the destination is accomplished in automated mode.

As for the use of the drones, it is not known if Uber had to go through any special procedure to gain approval. Governments around the world have been a few drones owing to security concerns, something that has held up Amazon's plans to get its shipments delivered via drones. That said, Mexico is known for its not-too-strict aerospace rules, according to Popular Mechanics.

That Mexico also happens to be one of the busiest cities where Uber operates in also meant they had to do something special to make a bigger mark in the city.

Also, while the use of drones for advertising does open up a new possibility for advertisers, the obvious limitation here is the limited space it offers to carry the actual message. That is unless a bigger drone is used or several drones are used to carry a bigger banner and such. Strong winds too can hamper proper depiction of such ads.

In any case, this seems just the beginning as we might well see more drones being pitched for advertising duties elsewhere in the world as well. Packed arenas or stadiums seem best fitted for such endeavors.

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