Uber has always been known for its creative marketing, be it delivering kittens for a snuggle during national cat day, or selling Christmas trees during the Christmas season. It has now turned its attention to gay marriage. On Saturday, June 28th Uber offered a special wedding deal for happy couples in San Francisco as part of LGBT Pride Week Festivities. You just had to go to the Uber app and request an ‘uber wedding’. A car should then arrive with a free, violinist, Champaign, flowers, wedding licenser, cake and an all expenses paid honeymoon deal.
On their blog Uber writes “We’re thankful to be based in San Francisco, a city that recognizes love doesn’t have to look any certain way. In honor of Pride week, we’re celebrating the inclusive idea that love is love with something that lasts a lifetime.”
But did this marketing campaign make the public fall in love? Instinct Magazine reports “We love this!!” Some commented on how this could give couples who couldn’t afford a wedding, much less a honeymoon, the chance to tie the knot in style. Others joked that Uber should begin offering on-demand divorces. Others took more offense.
Paul Mauer, citizen of San Francisco said, “I think it’s contributing to the popular notion that gay relationships aren’t as serious or deeply felt as their heterosexual counterparts. It’s kinda fucked up.” Others have reposted the article on twitter saying things like “this is the most ridiculously upsetting pride appropriation and also utter bullshit.”
Many argue against the idea of Uber’s appropriation by pointing out that heterosexual marriages are not all that sacred anymore either. Jeremy Wagner-Kaiser writes “Finally, the LGBT community can make ill-considered and hasty marriage decisions like straight people can!” Vegas chapels don’t exactly uphold the solemnity of marriage, so why should Uber have to?
Others complain that while they were into the idea of an Uber Wedding, Uber cars took hours to arrive if at all, leaving many couples, sad and single.
So was Uber’s campaign a success? Only time will tell. At the very least Uber’s publicity stunt made the news in over 20 magazines, and married 8 happy couples. This author at least wouldn’t mind getting married for free, even if the special day had a corporate sponsor.