Fast 5 with Uber Eats Head of Marketing ANZ – David Griffiths

In this month’s Fast 5, we’re speaking to David Griffiths, Head of Marketing – Uber Eats ANZ. David manages the marketing team’s strategy and execution across Australia and New Zealand and drives the Uber Eats vision as the brand moves from online food delivery, into a world of food, alcohol, and grocery delivery – in one convenient app.  

Like many Australians, David enjoys a weekly Uber Eats ritual (Friday’s at 5pm to be precise) with ‘the Whole Shabang’ ordered from a favourite – Burgers Anonymous. 

So, here’s this month’s Fast 5.

Meal and food box delivery has been on an upward trajectory for a number of months now, what are some of the trends and patterns that you’re seeing across Uber Eats?

The category has experienced rapid growth over the last 5 years since we entered, even more so over the last year and a half through Covid. We believe Covid and lockdown situations have brought the trend of food delivery forward by 3-5yrs with new first-time eaters downloading and using our app daily.

Our research shows us that through various city-wide lockdowns our customers developed habits around food and ordering that they weren’t willing to change when things opened back up. Being extremely busy and time poor, spending 30-40mins to cook or travel to a restaurant to then wait for their food wasn’t something they wanted to do. ‘With unrivalled selection and the quickest delivery times we offer time back to consumers so they can do the things that matter most to them, the things they love.’

Another trend we’re seeing is that more families are coming to the platform, this is a segment that we want to lean more into. We know historically that the average Aussie family has 1-2 takeaway meals a week, but we were seeing that they weren’t using apps for delivery, they were picking out the menu from their top drawer, phoning or going direct – this presented a big opportunity for Uber Eats.

Recently, Uber Eats has broadened its focus from a very well-established audience in the 18-34 category, to now reaching the family demographic. What are some of your core metrics behind this strategy and how are you seeing it perform so far?

Families is a big opportunity for us and that’s why we focussed our latest ‘Tonight I’ll be eating campaign’ (The Grey Wiggle) on The Wiggles with that dose of Simon Cowell. The campaign is performing well for us, we’re already seeing a big increase in first time eaters and switchers from other apps / platforms which are encouraging and shows we’re on to something.

We always judge the campaigns on a few different metrics, one being our internal judgement aka gut feel of the campaign. This comes from how excited our teams internally and externally (agencies) get about the campaign whilst it’s being created.

After spending five or so months building and nurturing the campaign, once it does go out to market, one of the first metrics we report on is press uptake, this is reviewed by our PR & comms team and we compare the current campaign against previous ones. The interest from press for The Grey Wiggle was phenomenal, it was picked up across mainstream TV media with channel 9, and various comedy shows the weeks following the launch. We then look at social with our agencies reporting weekly on key metrics across positivity and sentiment. I do like to dive a bit deeper on this and look at some of the comments across Twitter and Instagram to really see what the general public are feeling about it.

In some instances you get comments back that almost summarise the brief back to you and that’s ultimately what we set out to do.

As we move forward with the campaign execution, which has been in market for four weeks now, Mediacom (Our media agency) are working with our Global Analytics team to report back on its performance across key channels TV, OOH, Digital, Social. These are tracked and benchmarked against previous local campaigns, APAC regional campaigns and Global best in class. It can get very competitive across the countries, in a good way, as we all have a passion to deliver the best work, it’s what we are at Uber. I sit here really pleased with how the team and agency partners landed the campaign, it’s creativity, humour. This has been echoed by the response from press, media and the general public. It really ticked every box that we wanted it to.

The first campaign to kick this off featured The Wiggles. Can you take us back to where the idea stemmed from and how they came about?

I’d love to say it was all me, but it wasn’t… we’ve been partnering with our creative agency ‘The Special Group’ for five years now and they are the driving force behind TIBE, along with the leads in my team and my predecessors, it’s a really collaborative effort to get these campaigns up. The direction in terms of the problem / opportunity comes from us at Uber Eats and then we feed this into the Special Group for them to work their magic. The creative process can then take anywhere from 6-12 weeks and in this case it was the Iconic household name of the Wiggles that came first with a few ideas and characters. The team then took us through what they described as an ‘absolute gem’ being the Simon Cowell role and for me it was bang on straight away – it was one of those moments where you just know it is right.

Uber have recently set up a trial for Uber Pass membership platform. How have you seen this perform across International markets vs the Australian market? Has there been any differences in the uptake or the categories that are more popular through the service?

Uber Pass is something that we’re extremely excited about as a business. It’s the first initiative to bring together both Uber and Uber Eats, they have previously been quite separate. In Australia we’re in a unique position as both businesses are #1 in their respective categories, our consumers are often the same people and now we’re giving them something really strong in terms of a joint proposition. This is slightly different across other countries which have a different market share positions.

Australia is benefited by being at the forefront of Uber Pass, we’re only about six weeks in to its launch but we’ve had some really strong uptake so far, some of which we imagine has been driven by lockdown and people perhaps having more time at home to shop around and we’re definitely encouraging our regular ‘eaters’ to trial it. To date, the initiative has been really successful and over the next year or so we expect this to continue to grow.

We’ve seen some incredibly unmissable Out of Home executions from Uber Eats including giant delivery bags in the heart of Flinders Street Station to the Iconic glebe Island Silo’s Noiiiiiiiice ad featuring Kim Kardashian and Sharon Strzelecki. What’s next?

 Out of Home has done a phenomenal job for us, it’s helped us reach our awareness targets and our reach targets, it plays a pivotal role in what we do and our large-scale nationwide campaigns.

Internally, we are relentlessly pushing ourselves to make the most of OOH formats and really ensure that we’re getting the best out of each and every placement, getting into contextualising creative. Recently we’ve trialled creative executions at various times of the day, weather situations, sports results all with different messages to create a deeper more relevant connection with consumers. Feedback has been great and they’ve performed really well for us. This has definitely given us the confidence to keep trialing other opportunities.

I do think as a brand we need to do more standout, big executions, and I am pushing my team and agency partners to continue to think outside of the box about what else we can do.

Some of the recent big executions that we’ve run are the first of many to come and we’ll be heroing Uber Eats across some of the most iconic Out of Home settings in the near future, keep an eye out!


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