Didi tops Uber by Getting Romantic ;)


Uber’s local pain point, Didi, launched a new form of online posters to tell the love stories of their users.  A very creative and ‘game changer’ use of digital to celebrate what is known as White Valentine’s Day.

Didi – a result of a merger of China’s two original Ubers, into one Uber-annoyance for Uber – is really impressing us with their digital expression. (Did you get that Uber sentence? – Didi was a merger of the two previously most popular local taxi apps (Didi and Kuaidi) into one company, that is now showing a proclivity of giving Uber a huge competitive challenge).

For White Valentine’s Day – a holiday popular in East Asia – Didi created animated GIF posters to tell the romantic stories of their actual users.  The posters are in motion (GIF style), even as thumbnails in your browser.  So a total differentiator for Didi on user’s phones and computer screens.

The cab-calling app presented six stories telling how Didi acted as a ‘match maker’ to bring local couples together.  But it is super visual – so let’s go through some of the stories with you.

First, the story of “Fated Love”.  In the Western city of Xian, Mr. Wen was working as a Didi driver and by chance 😉 he saw a request on the app with a name he thought might be his ex-girlfriend from university.  He accepted the job, and was delighted to see it was actually her – a chance encounter they both enjoyed, and are now back together.

Didi gif poster 1

Didi driver takes job and meets ex-girlfriend by chance

In another Didi Love Story, Mr Wu was stuck in a horrible Shanghai traffic jam, and asked this client to wait ’10 minutes’ and not change to another driver.  She did wait, and the ensuring conversation moved from ‘thanks for waiting’ to ‘lets go out’.   Didi Matching – Success No.2.

Didi gif poster 2

Female client waits 10 minutes extra for driver, and …

In the most touching of the six stories, Driver Wang was taking his client to a subway station, so she could take public transport to her ultimate location.  But Wang was touched by the conversation, and decided to skip the metro, and take her all the way to the last location, without charge.  This was a good move by the driver.

Didi gif poster 3

Being a conscientious Didi driver also makes top BF material

Apart from being visually impactful, the campaign also was strategically clever in the brand messaging.  Didi, like Uber, can never predict its level of service, so a campaign that celebrates the randomness of the service, helps to reinforce the idea of Didi as a philosophy rather than a hard-and-fast-service.

Uber, they’re smart, it is going to be tough.  So you need to be SMART too.


About Author

Jerry Clode

Jerry Clode is Head of Digital & Social Insight at Resonance. He leads Resonance SMART, providing leading-edge research, strategy and naming for brands in China using bespoke methodologies. Jerry also produces Resonance's popular China Social Branding Report, a bi-weekly publication covering modern marketing methods of the world's top brands.

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