As a challenger brand, Lyft sought to differentiate itself from Uber, the ride-hailing industry leader. It was handed an opportunity to do this when Uber seemed to be profiting from an anti-Trump protest, creating a perception that it was behaving in a socially insensitive and mercenary fashion. To help define itself over and against Uber’s unscrupulous public image (whether it was deserved or not), Lyft launched a feature that eased the process of donating to charities. It then advertised the feature through an online video campaign.
Objective and Context:
More than 200,000 people took action in the #DeleteUber movement and brought ride-hailing ethics to the forefront of American consciousness. Thanks to that movement, Lyft’s visibility increased dramatically. To capitalize on this development and strengthen its association with social responsibility, the brand launched “Round Up and Donate” — a Lyft feature that enabled a user to make a philanthropic contribution with just the click of a button.
The cross-channel campaign that the brand used to promote the feature had three primary KPIs: scale, ride intent, and app-installs.
Lyft’s primary target was philanthropically inclined American ride-hailing service users between the ages of 18 and 49.
In a 30-second video featuring Fortune Feimster, Lyft evoked holiday themes of joyful giving and invited philanthropically inclined adults to take action for the betterment of society — but in a more convenient fashion than ever before. In the front seat of a retro-style Lyft, the comedian demonstrated the ease of the Round Up and Donate button.
Overall Campaign Execution:
Lyft deployed the campaign across an array of premium content sites within the platform maintained by Kargo, a mobile advertising strategies agency. The premium environments ensured that Lyft’s message appeared alongside appropriate editorial content and that viewers consumed the message in their most receptive states.
To achieve additional scale, Lyft deployed the campaign across the Facebook audience network — an opportunity that it enjoyed thanks to Kargo’s Facebook Affiliate status. As users scrolled through their newsfeeds and engaged with relevant philanthropic content, they identified themselves as high-value targets. Kargo’s Video Anchor then activated in such a way that people saw Lyft’s message when they were reading an article that was shared to their Facebook feed, ensuring the timeliness of the message’s reception.
Kargo was an important partner in Lyft’s effort to reach its target audience on mobile. By applying Pushspring technology, Lyft zeroed in on those most likely to use Round Up and Donate: the socially conscious ride-hailing service users. Using app-scan technology, the brand identified 18- to 49-year-olds with Lyft’s or Uber’s app installed on their devices. Lyft then sharpened its focus still further by identifying charitable ride-hailing service users through behavioral clues, which included the presence of charities’ apps on their devices and credit card data indicating philanthropic contributions made within the prior year.
The Round Up and Donate feature has raised over $7 million dollars in donations to date. Those profits go directly to the partner charities. For instance, Chicago Public Schools have received $60,000 as a result of donations from Lyft passengers.
In addition to producing these benefits for society, Lyft also reaped benefits for itself, succeeding in all three of its primary KPIs.