New Member Q&A: Uber

On March 27, 2024

Every now and then we like to highlight a new IAB Australia member that we think our community will find interesting. Today we meet Uber. Written by Michael Levine, Head of Advertising Sales, at Uber. 

Please give us some historical background to the company:

Uber’s advertising offering first launched in the US in 2019 and included sponsored listings for restaurant partners to increase visibility on Uber Eats. In 2021, the business began offering in-app advertising opportunities to the wider market and retail media placements for CPG brands. In July 2022 the advertising business launched in Australia and New Zealand and I have been fortunate to build the local sales team, facilitating our rapid expansion in the region.

Tell us a little bit about your company's mission and vision?

Uber’s mission is to create opportunity through movement. We reimagine the way the world moves for the better. We started in 2010 to solve a simple problem: how do you get access to a ride at the touch of a button? More than 47 billion trips later, we're building products to get people closer to where they want to be. By changing how people, food, and things move through cities, Uber is a utility platform that opens up the world to new possibilities.

Do you have a particular 'hero product' that you are most proud of? 
I take immense pride in our Journey Ads product. It’s a unique surface that allows brands from diverse verticals to present custom content across multiple stages of an Uber ride, enabling advertisers to connect with audiences throughout their journey. From ordering a ride, to sitting in the back of the car, there is a long span of idle attention when we can provide targeted messages to our audiences. From heading to the airport, down to the beach or out to the shops - our ability to offer 1st party destination targeting is unique too. With 100% share of voice during the entire trip, consumers can be exposed to the ad content for approximately two minutes, which is substantially higher than engagement rates on other digital ad platforms. We recently introduced video Journey Ads in ANZ and I’m excited to see how brands can creatively use this ad format to captivate their audience.

What area of digital do you personally work in and how do you hope to enhance this within your business?
Digital advertising platforms have moved through various stages and cycles over my 15 years in this industry. Long gone are the days where massive intrusive takeovers with unmeasured impact are the norm and long gone are the days of buying cheap clicks on low visibility/bot ecosystems. Our industry has always offered advertisers superior measurement and relevancy to consumers as they continue to spend more of their time online. But it's also an insanely cluttered space with real challenges for advertisers to create “thumb-stopping” moments. Joining Uber, I’ve been energised by our unique position in this marketplace. I believe we can enhance and move the digital advertising landscape forward with low clutter spaces, high relevancy targeting, brand safe environments, and exceptional industry-leading measurement and outcomes.

Please tell us what, as a child, you wanted to be 'when you grew up'?
A pop star. Michael Jackson was my hero.