Wednesday, February 3, 2016 - 11:16am
CHICAGO (Feb. 1, 2016) - Officials from ridesharing pioneer Uber and Visit St. Pete/Clearwater today announced a first-of-its-kind marketing initiative that will promote the St. Pete/Clearwater area while providing free rides to Uber users in Chicago.
Every Wednesday morning this month starting at 6 a.m., Chicago Uber users will be greeted with a "Warm Up Wednesday" message in the app and a promotional code to unlock a special vehicle view to request a free ride. As part of the campaign's warm-weather focus, vehicles will appear in the app emblazoned with sunshine icons.
In addition to the offer for a free ride, every Uber rider who unlocks the view is automatically entered to win one of four 4-night getaways for two, including airfare, to St. Pete/Clearwater.
"We're excited to work with such a forward-thinking international brand as Uber to promote the St. Pete/Clearwater area," said Visit St. Pete/Clearwater Executive Director David Downing. "And to be able to give our friends in Chicago a chance to get out of the cold and into a warm Uber---on us---is an added bonus."
The campaign will be promoted via a series of street-level digital billboards, on 1,300 elevator screens in 90 Chicago high-rises, branded Uber vehicles, the social/digital channels of Uber and VSPC at WarmUpWednesday.com and on 10,000 promotional fliers that will be distributed via Uber drivers throughout the month-long promotion.
Drivers, who were hand-selected for the campaign by Uber Chicago, will wear co-branded Uber and Visit St. Pete/Clearwater gear and distribute winter caps, hand-warmers and other destination swag to riders.
A handful of specially wrapped Uber cars will come equipped with VSPC's Samsung Oculus virtual reality goggles, offering riders a chance to tour St. Pete/Clearwater's sunny Gulf beaches while en route to their destination in Chicago.
Chicago is one of Visit St. Pete/Clearwater's top feeder markets and Uber's second-most popular market in the U.S.
Other aspects of the promotion include a $20 credit for first-time riders that will be distributed via VSPC's monthly newsletter and via print in Gulf to Bay, VSPC's award-winning destination magazine with an international circulation of more than 600,000.
The Uber promotion is one part of VSPC's $2 million international winter marketing blitz hitting Chicago, Boston, New York City, Toronto and the United Kingdom, along with a series of national broadcast, digital and radio promotions.
Visit St. Pete/Clearwater plans a similar cooperative marketing effort with Uber that will take place this summer throughout the St. Pete/Clearwater area.