Cute Animals Are The New Battleground For Uber And The Taxi Industry

Uber is at war with the taxi industry. Between citizen's arrests, State Government raids and massive fines, the ride-sharing service has bent noses out of shape all over Australia. The war for our streets between the multi-billion dollar app giant and the local taxi industry monolith is now taking a turn for the adorable (and the ridiculous). The weapons are adorable animals, and the objective is to win hearts and minds. Welcome to the world's most transparent PR war for Australia's transportation dollar.

Yesterday saw Uber take adorable kittens around to people's homes and offices so that users could post photos to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter with cute animals for the entire 15 minutes they were allocated.

And it went quite well, too. Check out how it went down on #the #social #media:

Of course it was a stunt.

A stunt designed to endear folks to Uber while getting hyper-connected social media addicts to do Uber's PR job for it by posting photos of cute kittens, associated with the ride-sharing brand. It also had a side-effect of actually being cute, fun and donating money to animal shelters. Of course, it should go without saying that if you want to help adorable kittens that you should drive (or taxi or Uber or whatever) to a shelter and adopt one yourself.

Almost 24 hours after Uber decided to endear itself to the public using kittens, it was on for young and old with the Victorian Taxi Association (VTA) decided it would also get in on the cute animal fun, but issuing a passive-aggressive press release heralding its donations to wildlife protection funds.

Here's the thirstiest release I've ever read from the VTA:

Cute animals? Check. Slamming Uber? Check. Discouraging more people from driving for the Uber X ride-sharing initiative? Check. It's got everything the taxi council wants in a press release, and counts as a salvo burst from an industry desperate to be seen as equal to or better than the new kid on the block.

No doubt we'll see a press release from Uber later on in the day saying how much money they contributed to the cause, and how awesome it makes them.

Thirsty opportunism aside, the new battleground for your taxi dollar seems to be in who donates the most to cute animals, and therefore looks the most "human". The happy side-effect of two billion-dollar enemies fighting in this case is that animal welfare groups are going to benefit from some much-needed funding and exposure.


Comments

    These little fights are getting old and its great that Uber is not even responding and just doing their own thing. Like how VTA brings up that Uber case but taxi's are not too safe too.

    http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/taxi-driver-who-raped-drunk-schoolgirl-loses-appeal-bid-20140904-10c86y.html

    Uber has always done their marketing this way with the ice-cream and the animals. What a joke to start a change.org thread for this. Obviously Uber is doing something right to cause the VTA to stoop to these measures.

    Way to take a negative tone VTA! How about innovating, by building a working mobile app, and lifting the standards of your taxis.

      really how would you like it if someone moved in and tried to take your job i think you would get up in arms too.lift the standard of the taxis huh well let me tell you as an ex taxi driver main reason i got out was the low standard of the passengers and by that i mean behaviour not the length of the fare as a country driver we had short and long fares i took all in length spewing in cabs drinking trying to have sex not on, and doing a runner see if you like it most people were great but i saw a change in passenger behaviour at the end of 2006 and it just got worse as the years wore on,so guess what peoples bad behaviour means you will get drivers who don't care doesn't make it right but that's what happens.

        "really how would you like it if someone moved in and tried to take your job i think you would get up in arms too."

        - It's too late for that. I would have been up in arms 10 years ago at my industry failing to get with the times. If they had their stuff together back then and released a mobile app that allows you to rate drivers, pay directly and book cabs, Uber would not have been able to move in. Kicking and screaming now that a new innovative player has entered the gaping hole the industry left in the market by failing to innovate is too little too late.

    as i drove taxis in for 10 years i can say i will never get in a car with a private driver who isn't covered with insurance so if there is an accident i want my payout.I am glad i got out of driving taxis as the standard of passengers had got worse in their behaviour and it has got bad since 2007 spewers runners people who think they can do anything they want in the cab got news for you you only pay to sit your backside in the seat,not play with the radio, heater or think you can eat or drink in the cab because you are paying, you pay for the ride nothing else.Now drugged up cockheads are passengers and i will say as the fares get uglier so will the drivers.Passengers are the cause of getting bad drivers because as your behaviour gets bad you will get bad drivers,and dont get me wrong there is no excuse for bad behaviour in passengers and drivers so if you find a good driver give him praise and see if you can get his number even tip him as that can help.if you want to risk getting in a car with a private driver just remember a stack can mean your life is ruined because they are uninsured.

    Good on them! Uber must be stopped. I wonder why they don't just shut them down...

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