Interview: Uber Eats HK mulls new ad feature with hyper-localisation as main dish

Uber Eats Hong Kong is looking to build up its ad offerings in Hong Kong. In an interview with MARKETING-INTERACTIVE Ally Doube (pictured), APAC head of brand strategy and social at Uber Eats said this feature has already been enabled in many of its existing markets, but the company is now mulling the move to launch it in Hong Kong.

“Our ad offerings enable restaurants ally doubeto use sponsored listings to advertise, and put their branding in the front or centre of the Uber Eats feed,” she said.

Similar to an Instagram or Facebook ad, this feature allows restaurant owners to assign a weekly budget, design how much they want to pay for each click, and track and optimise with insights that we share with them so restaurants can adjust their budget. Doube added that having a very localised approached both for its consumers and merchants is a priority for the brand.

On the consumer front, the brand recently launched its first-ever “Tonight, I’ll Be Eating” campaign in a bid to celebrate and support Hong Kong restaurants on its platform. Collaborating with singers Joyce Cheng and Alfred Hui, the campaign, created in partnership with Special Group Australia and Uth Hong Kong, and was aimed at supporting local restaurants on the platform and providing over thousands of restaurant partners with bespoke ready-to-use content for them to repurpose on their owned channels.

Doube said having a localised approach is a must in Uber Eats' marketing strategy in Hong Kong. While the latest ad is part of the “Tonight, I’ll Be Eating” global campaign, Doube said the company took active measures to ensure a localised approach.

“We’re lucky that we have full creative autonomy within APAC! We endeavour to bring to life local consumer insights in all our marketing efforts. Customers can see that with our ‘Tonight, I’ll Be Eating’ campaigns across the region, where local stars are used to bring to life hilarious moments,” Doube said.

Specific to Hong Kong, Uber Eats hopes to focus on celebrating all things local in its executions, from creating custom-assets for individual restaurants, to taking over a whole district with custom-creative and featuring local favourites in the campaign with both Cheng and Hui. Doube told MARKETING-INTERACTIVE that was one of the driving forces for choosing Cheng and Hui as ambassadors. She said, “We always pick unexpected celebrities that best resonate with our local audiences. Both of them share the same passion to celebrate local culinary heroes in Hong Kong which makes them the perfect partner for a campaign that aims to ‘make local famous’.

Hong Kong’s food delivery market

Due to social distancing and government measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 last year, many Hongkongers turned to food delivery platforms for their meals and splurges. This led to a spike in business for food delivery platforms. This trend of ordering food in or dining in, also proved to be a sticky one as Hongkoners still followed through with the habit in 2021 despite now having more relaxed government measures and dining out.

Doube believed that the pandemic has permanently changed the way people consume food. “Globally, the demand for food delivery remains strong even as countries lift restrictions, which is a promising sign for growth for both the food delivery market, and Uber Eats. Our research shows that 70% of Hongkongers are interested in trying food delivery. Also, Hongkong food delivery is amongst the highest across Asia Pacific,” she added. 

As long as we continue to stay top of mind and salient for consumers, online food delivery will continue to be a part of customers’ lives.

Looking ahead, riding on the “Tonight I’ll be Eating” campaign, Uber Eats will offer a series of ads across multiple touchpoints, such as TVCs, social media, digital, OOH and transit media, consisting of both inside and outside of vehicles.  The brand is also looking to launch more exciting things until the end of the year, including a few restaurant co-marketing launches which will be rolled out soon.

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