Undercover Lyft

Undercover Lyft uses New England Patriot All Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski to build their brand through Facebook and YouTube videos.  The Facebook video ad campaign is targeted geographically to New England as well as by interest to fans of the NFL, the Patriots, and Rob Gronkowski.  The campaign appears within the Facebook timeline of people who match those ad parameters.  This is an example of co-branding, growth hacking, and vertical competition. By piggybacking on NFL players with large fan bases and connecting with those fans through their Facebook accounts, Lyft is leapfrogging a traditional TV campaign and using the power of the fans’ own Facebook ‘Friends’ to expand their reach beyond the initial timeline ad.  For example, according to ‘Statista’, the average number of ‘Friends’ for a personal Facebook account holder is 649. So if Lyft purchases a campaign that lands on 10,000 timelines and 1,000 of those account holders share that post then Lyft just reached 649,000 people.  If the average cost per click was $1, then Lyft just spent $1,000 to reach more than a half million people.  The video can also be re-purposed for television and gain additional traction for people searching Lyft, Gronk, and the New England Patriots on Google or YouTube.  In the end, because ‘Gronk’ is funny and we like the NFL, Lyft has helped brand itself with the things their target audience already likes; “I like the NFL, I like ‘Gronk’ therefore I like Lyft.”  Similar campaigns with other athletes across the country are helping to brand Lyft with more established brands that already have passionate followings. The other thing I really like about this campaign is that it is ‘vertical’.  Rather than going head-to-head with their more established and better known competitor, Lyft has chosen a clever and more entertaining approach. It’s not about Lyft’s service versus Uber. It’s about identifying with the things already important to their target audience and then co-branding with them.  All in all, a well thought out, albeit simple, and now viral social media video ad campaign that utilizes many of the most powerful and common marketing techniques available today.

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