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Publicity on a stick
Staffers of The Daily Record pick out frozen treats from an ice cream truck ordered through rideshare company Uber. (The Daily Record/Maximilian Franz)

Publicity on a stick

Well, we fell for it.

That’s right, The Daily Record succumbed to the power of ice cream and the power of a genius publicity stunt — on a stick; an ice cream stick.

Several staff members just enjoyed delicious frozen treats delivered right to the newsroom doorstep, courtesy of Uber (the “we are not a cab company” rideshare service).

How?

It’s “Uber Ice Cream Day,” and it’s glorious.

Uber partnered with ice cream trucks and other vendors in 144 cities across the globe to deliver the treats on demand: Users had to simply open the Uber app, tap the request button for “Ice Cream” and wait.

Oh, and authorize the app to charge us $25. Yes, it’s a lot of money for ice cream, but the novelty of it all was worth it.

Just like the app tells users when to expect their requested ride to show up, Uber gives an estimated delivery time for the ice cream. We only had to wait about nine minutes.

When we got the notification (via text message) saying our Uber ride — apparently, an ice cream truck called “Fort McCreamery” — had arrived, we gleefully tumbled down the stairs and out onto Saratoga Street, where we feasted our eyes on what can only be described as … a typical-looking ice cream truck.

But then, an enthusiastic Uber employee poked his head out the window and greeted us, along with a man who I assume actually drives Fort McCreamery on a regular basis. The driver was very good-humored about all of this. (Get it?)

Our Uber concierge informed us that we had to choose one of the following treats: Good Humor’s Strawberry Shortcake Bar, Ben & Jerry’s Half Baked ice cream bar, the Nestle Drumstick and the Chipwich.

We snapped some pictures and laughed like giddy children for a few minutes before heading back to the newsroom to be adults (which, luckily, included writing this blog).

But Uber Ice Cream Day is more than a fun way for employees to bond on a summery Friday afternoon. For the rideshare company, it was marketing gold.

#UberIceCream was trending on Twitter, and several media outlets have picked up the story. I’m sure the offer of on-demand ice cream enticed a sizeable number of people to install the Uber app who wouldn’t have otherwise (myself included).

The company even gave out Uber-branded sunglasses — in an Uber-branded carrying case.

In other cities, the kinds of ice cream varied, as did the prices, the kinds of branded swag and the hours of operation. But one thing is for sure: There’s a lot of sugar-happy employees who now know Uber’s name.

Well played, guys, well played.

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