What is the fastest way to get around on city roads? A car. What is the most visible way to get around a city? A car. Who has hundreds of cars moving around the city on any day or night? Uber.
Partnering with Uber for a missing children campaign is a brilliant idea that was logical for agency, Proximity (BBDO Russia Group). Some Russians paint their cars to make them unique, to avoid getting them stolen. The campaign has already led to the recovery of one child, Yana.
The campaign, UberSEARCH, was launched by Uber, Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs, Missing Children Organization and Proximity (BBDO Russia Group) last year. It placed the portraits of missing children on Uber cars. As a bonus, the car artwork deters car thieves. It also makes the missing children’s portraits far more likely to get attention than a traditional poster campaign can accomplish. And according to the Russian Missing Children Organization, 70% of the success in finding missing children depends on witnesses.
“In Russia, photos of missing children are often displayed in very poor quality, and traditional posters have a very limited reach. We asked artists to draw eye-catching artworks based on the photos given by the police, and instead of using airbrush and painting the cars, we used printed car stickers to place these artworks on Uber partners’ cars. Thus we decreased the time and money spent on production while ensuring the eye-catchiness of the artworks,” Proximity stated.
Uber also sent out notifications through its app with information about the UberSEARCH campaign.
In less than 2 hours after the launch, the faces of the missing children appeared on the most popular Russian websites, were featured on federal TV channels and kicked off conversations and posts across social media platforms. The campaign helped the police to locate the whereabouts of Yana, one of the three missing children UberSEARCH searched for. Yana was then found and is now safe.
“Our team was very unusual, but it worked. We also received an enquiry from another transportation service to join the project on a volunteer basis,” noted Dmitry Vtorov, head of the Missing Children Organization.
In Russia, the UberSearch campaign ran as UberPOISK, ‘poisk’ being the transliteration of the Russian ‘поиск’ which means ‘search’.
Advertising agency: Proximity (BBDO Russia Group)
Creative director: Mihai Coliban
Acting creative director: Ilya Andreyev
Copywriter: Yura Kabasin
Art director: Kin Loong Lee (Sean)
Designer: Julia Belyakova
Account director:Alexander Makarovsky
Account manager: Alena Zhukova
Project manager: Anza Randriambeloson
Producer: Valery Gorokhov
Illustration agency: Bang Bang Studio
Videо director: Alexey Belov
DOP: Konstantin Mazov
Editing: Yurii Karih
Head of communications in Russia and CIS: Evgeniya Shipova
Marketing manager: Kateryna Khomych, Evgeniya Tabakova & Kseniya Stepanova