Case Studies

Homebrew'd Projects


Promotional & Growth


We helped Uber grow its brand and customer base in its early years through a series of unique digital and non-digital campaigns.

The Challenge


Uber, now a massively successful company operating in dozens of cities across world, needed a good deal of brand equity and education to help people realize the full potential and value of the product. People had negative misconceptions about car services and in some cities, needed some convincing as to why they should use the service. At first glance it seemed cost-prohibitive, even though users of the service became quickly addicted to it.

The Approach Our early promotional work with Uber, which spanned over a year during from 2011-2012, involved three stages. The first was getting massive awareness to the taste makers of technology at SXSW. The second, bringing the campaign online to spread the word in different cities quickly and affordable. The third, convincing the toughest crowd - New Yorkers - to skips by identifying the right kind of message to the right kind of customer at NYC’s boutique hotels.
Above: Preliminary concepts for pedicab branding
 Pedicabs @ SXSW Uber cleverly hooked up their app - which typically summons car services - to summon the ubiquitous pedicabs that are the primary means of transport during the 10 days of SXSW in Austin. We branded over a dozen sizes and styles of pedicabs as well as their drivers. You could even optionally order a burger through the app’s interface.

“Must be easily visible by inebriated individuals on a fast moving vehicle at 3 AM.”


Concepts for the pedicab driver's "uniform"

Photo by Maya Baratz

The SXSW campaign helped to gain Uber attention as a forward-thinking brand that didn’t take itself too seriously but offered real value and powerful technology. A series of online digital campaigns helped grow awareness of the brand online by messaging local neighborhoods, reaffirming the idea that Uber knows each city intimately.

Localized Online Ads


As Uber expanded nationally, it was important to make it clear that Uber was all about local support - that it *knew* your city and your drives. A series of online ads targetted specific cities and neighborhoods with local flavor.

Uber was founded in San Francisco, where taxis are notoriously hard to find and public transportation leaves much to be desired. However in other cities, like NYC, taxis and public transportation are ubiquitous and efficient. We worked with Uber to identify customers and scenarios where there’s a strong case to lean on the app’s reliability, user experience and speed, whether to impress a date, a client, or differentiate yourself from the crowd of tourists.

Cobranded Hotel Promotions


Our team and the Uber community managers pitched concepts for promotional discount cards to major boutique hotels in New York. The cards were meant to convey the elegance of the hotel along with nodding to the functionality of the Uber service. They were slipped into the keycard sheath that guests would get upon check-in.

Moodboards for Uber hotel promotional work

Left: Final concepts for Uber Hotel Keycard Sheath Cards. 

Right: Early sketches and prototypes.

The Outcome


Uber, now a household name, has grown virally by taking bold steps in communicating their brand values in creative ways. While we can’t take all the credit for all of their incredible success, we enjoyed being a part of the ride that got them there. As a brand that knows how to push the boundaries to capture the hearts of potential customers, the partnership was one in which we constantly got to experiment and learn what turns on their customers and was a great example of how even grassroots efforts with a clever approach can make a huge splash.


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