Uber 'chopes' parking spot with giant tissue pack

In need of a napkin?

Well a giant tissue packet created by Uber and BBH Singapore was spotted recently occupying parking lots in Singapore to be part of its recently launched “Unlocking Cities” campaign. Images of the tissue packs made it rounds on the internet.

Initially positioned to be from a company called “Chope King”, the tissue packets also had the tag line of “XL Tissues for Parking Issues”. The website listed on the tissue packet was also initially "under construction" but now,  the microsite is now overlayed with Uber's recent "Boxes" spot for its "Unlocking Cities" campaign.

In case you were wondering what the giant tissue pack looks like, here's a picture of it from local celebrity Michelle Chong's Facebook page:

The use of tissue packets stemmed from a local cultural context, which sees locals using tissue packets to reserve (or “chope”) seats and tables at crowded hawker centres or food courts. The word “chope” itself is a local colloquialism that describes the act of securing a space in any public domain, before someone else gets to it.

Together with BBH, the brand carried out a seeding campaign involving local bloggers and social media sites. This included Michelle Chong, satire page SMRT Feedback and also saw mentions from meme page SGAG.

In a press statement to Marketing, Uber revealed that the stunt’s aim was to send a “funny but clear message” highlighting driver woes such as limited parking spaces. The stunt is part of a wider message the ride-hailing platform is driving which aims to reduce private car ownership in a bid to “improve lives in cities around the region.”

The campaign was based on a commissioned study which saw Uber singling out limited parking space as one of the biggest problems drivers in Singapore face. This is with the average person spending 288 hours a year in traffic and searching for parking.

Meanwhile, earlier this week, Uber launched its “Unlocking Cities” campaign, starting with a film called “Boxes”. The humorous film tackles the issue of traffic congestion and how ridesharing can help in the process to “unlock” traffic congestion. The campaign runs across digital, print, cinema, out of home and real life executions in nine cities in Asia for six weeks. Watch the spot here:

Since its launch on YouTube on 31 October 2017, the campaign garnered 32,892 views at the time of writing.

"Uber is committed to creating better cities through fewer and fuller cars, especially in a small city like Singapore. Chope-King was our way of providing food for thought in a humorous but locally relatable manner, engaging Singapore residents to start conversations around whether car ownership is still a necessity,” Stacy Sy, marketing manager, Uber Singapore, said.

“There’s nothing like entrusting the help of a local phenomenon -  like the humble tissue packet – to make a point. We hope this ‘little’ prank with a ‘big’ message generates both conversations and gives rise to solutions around a real problem with parking in Singapore,” Rebecca Levy, account director, BBH Singapore, said.

In Singapore, Uber has worked with creative agency BBH for several of its campaigns such “‘Where’ is more than just a place”, which looks to take consumers on a journey to places that hold special memories and future potential for Singapore and its residents. The company's UberEATS platform also tied up with McDonald's Singapore in October to give users the option of ordering McDonald's on the UberEATS mobile app.

Just yesterday, Uber was revealed to be on the hunt for its first global creative agency and is reviewing its media agency. According to sources close to Adweek, the company is seeking a single agency to manage its brand campaigns worldwide. The review follows the appointment of Bozoma Saint John, former marketing executive at Beats, as chief brand officer in August, and Dara Khosrowshahi, former Expedia CEO, as Uber’s new CEO during the same month. Uber declined to comment on Marketing‘s queries.

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