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Uber Takes Aim at Lyft in Facebook Ad Campaign

Jan 20, 2014 7:30 am

Skift Take

Uber has made trash talking on Facebook a key to its marketing strategy, so this dig at Lyft is nothing out of the ordinary.

— Jason Clampet

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The battle for supremacy among transportation apps is getting more personal.

Uber is underway with a social-media ad campaign that includes a Facebook newsfeed ad taking aim at Lyft, the ride-sharing service distinguished by fuzzy pink mustaches that drivers affix to the front of their cars or on their dashboards.

The ad depicts a middle-aged man and woman bumping fists — which Lyft drivers are encouraged to do with their passengers — with the copy “Don’t pay a premium to fist bump.”

Uber’s spokesman declined to comment on the reach of the Facebook ads or the geographies they’re targeted to, or whether they would be distributed on other social channels.

It’s not the first time Uber — which got off the ground offering black cars, dispatched from private car companies — has taken aim at Lyft in advertising. Last May, billboards cropped up in San Francisco urging Lyft drivers to “shave the stache.” It encouraged them sign up to drive for UberX, the company’s lower-cost ride-sharing service staffed by non-professional drivers in their own cars, in the vein of Lyft and another competitor, Sidecar.

The company is pushing hard to attract more customers to UberX. It announced earlier this month that it was cutting prices in 16 out of 24 cities where UberX is available, and by as much as 15 to 34% in Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles, Phoenix and Orange County.

It’s also trying to hire away Lyft drivers, offering $50 gas cards if they stop by Uber’s headquarters in San Francisco and a signing bonus to join UberX, according to TechCrunch.

While a lengthy comment thread under Uber’s Lyft-aimed Facebook ad drew plenty of Uber fans, some Lyft loyalists were outspoken in their defense of the brand. Some pointed to the irony that the ad promised lower prices on Uber in light of the company’s well documented policy of implementing surge pricing during high-demand times.

One such comment reads, “Ask people that used Uber on New Years what’s more expensive.”

Asked what he thought of Uber’s ad strategy, Lyft’s president John Zimmer gave this statement: “We’re focused on the Lyft community and providing our community members with the best possible experience at the best possible price.”

adage_200x200This story originally appeared on AdAge, a Skift content partner.

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