How Uber Started Making Ads People Love

November 13, 2018 — by MediaMath    

How does a brand with a large focus on mobile marketing drive transparency and incrementality on what is normally a very fraud-prone channel?

For Uber, it took changing its programmatic operating model to shift what its internal team, agency and tech partner were focused on to drive real outcomes for the brand. During AdWeek New York, Bennett Rosenblatt, programmatic display lead at Uber, sat down with Anna Grodecka-Grad, SVP, global head of professional services at MediaMath, to talk about this transformation in the session “How Uber Disrupted the Traditional Media Buying Model.”

In Uber’s case, the brand decided to transform its operations when it began to hit a saturation point with riders. “We’ve pivoted now to running reengagement as our No. 1 tactic for riders in North America,” said Rosenblatt. “Running static banners, hitting users with 20 or 30 ads a week just is not incremental for us.”

In general, Rosenblatt said the brand was often looking for help in navigating the digital media ecosystem. MediaMath helped fill that void.

“MediaMath began to lean in and run those campaigns on our behalf and began to give us those in-house learnings, telling us what was working and what wasn’t,” said Rosenblatt. “And that was really valuable for us.”

The brand migrated to a strategy of in-game ads aimed at low-frequency riders that are likely to get a response. One unit, for instance, is aimed at San Francisco Uber riders and is a lookbook for the top five restaurants for Uber riders in the city.

“Even though we’re Uber and we have 18,000 employees, we don’t have the resources to go super-deep on every campaign. If you’re working with a partner, you should trust them.”