It’s certainly been a rollercoaster of a year – and we still have a couple of months left!
PR has at times found that one thing that’s restorative. A something that’s universal. That something that makes us all go, “AWWWWWWW”.
I’m talking about the most powerful healing force in the universe – KITTENS! (Bask in their glory!)
Uber must have understood the felines’ therapeutic potency when they created their wonderful offer of a car full of kittens for snuggle time.1
Also, they rolled out the campaign on October 29th, which happens to be National Cat Day (just a coincidence, I’m sure 😉).
The service, dubbed “UberKITTENS”, allows businesses to “adopt” a kitten for 15 minutes – for a mere $30 “Cuddle Fee”.2 Uber made their special deliveries – and the fun and games ensued. (How wonderful is this!? Where’s my kitten?!)
Uber and participating animal shelters spread the message using the obvious hashtag, #UberKITTENS and the tweets of cuteness flowed forth.
Not only did this campaign make for a wonderful way to entice Uber riders, it was for many people a fun stress-reducer, and at the same they were helping support local animal shelters (NOTE: always a very worthy cause with great optics).
So of COURSE, the big players in the media ate them up (sorry, bad pun there but you understand). Uber had created a novel disruption – pairing their ride service with a much-loved additional, if temporary new “feature”.
I mean, the headlines alone were just precious:
CNN Money: Don’t Worry, the Uber kittens are safe!
Forbes: Uber Delivers Kittens: Prepare for Cuteness Overload with UberKITTENS
Business Insider: Uber will let you order a kitten to your office — but for one day only
PR Week: Uber lets users hail a kitten on National Cat Day (There’s a bunch of photos here – beyond adorable!)
Of course, all this positive media attention should come as a complete surprise to no one.
Uber provided a unique service that has a positive, psychological benefit to their customers and at the same time providing support for a cause that is extremely popular – a one-two combination punch of positive PR publicity!
Uber has in fact run this campaign for several years, expanding it to several more cities, spreading the joy – and increasing those positive impressions. They’ve even imported it to Auckland and Wellington in New Zealand because love knows no borders!3
And why should it?
Now, if you’ll excuse me – I have to go snuggle with my own kitten.
As wonderfully cute as they are, kittens aren’t a cure-all for every PR challenge. But there is a great takeaway here – find a novel way to use to use your product or service to grab your audience’s attention and start an interaction. That’s called causing a disruption in your industry. Uber innovated with their initial ride service and kept innovating, further differentiating themselves from their competition – and the media was there in droves, in effect doing much of your publicity FOR them.
At JOTO PR Disruptors, we have the expertise to spread the word about your innovation. Whether it’s press releases, social media, and more – we have the means to reaches your customers and the media add earn you the attention to put you at the forefront of your industry.
Let’s start planning your DISRUPTIVE debut. | 888-919-4034
Quinn, Mattie. “5 memorable holiday publicity stunts.” MarketingDive.com, 17 Dec. 2014, marketingdive.com/news/5-memorable-holiday-publicity-stunts/342547/.
Haydu, Sarah. “Clear Your Calendars—#UberKITTENS Are Back.” Uber.com 28, Oct. 2015, uber.com/newsroom/uberkittens-are-back/.
Uber. “UberKITTENS is coming to New Zealand this Friday!” 25, Nov. 2015, uber.com/en-NZ/blog/uberkittens-is-coming-to-new-zealand-this-friday/.