Lyft Seeks to Rise Above Gridlock Madness With National Campaign

Noma Bar and Made Movement Help Push the Word Out on Transportation Network

Published On
Apr 25, 2016

Editor's Pick

Ridesharing platform and transportation network Lyft is looking to rise above the gridlock madness with a new campaign that includes its first national TV ad and bold print and it largest out-of-home push to date.

The outdoor campaign features whimsical car-themed illustrations from Israeli artist Noma Bar. The designer/graphic artist we believe to be this generation's Saul Bass created a series of gorgeous, car-themed ads featuring his characteristic visual sleight-of-hand and clever use of negative space.

One features a leg in motion, foot decked out in a car that doubles as a roller skate, with copy that reads "Bust a Commute." Another ad features a bunny and the line "Hop to It," with silhouettes of cars doubling as the rabbit's eye and occupying the area between his paws and his head. A third execution shows a car serving as the needle on a record turntable with the copy "Roll Out," and another, with the words "Easy Going," shows a pair of hands that appear to cradle a vehicle, in the space that rests between them. The tagline is "Download and Ride."

The outdoor push is three times bigger than previous OOH effort and will feature in 19 markets and 12 airports.

In Q&A on the Lyft blog, Mr. Bar said, "As an artist, it's so much fun to work with car and transportation concepts. I'm focusing on the more playful side of transportation -- it's not about the mechanics of the vehicle, it's about the fun of riding, escaping, and enjoying travelling as a fun experience."

If anything, the ads are fun, but Mr. Bar also expressed his appreciation for the Lyft m.o. "I like to work with brands who invent and reinvent new rules," he said. "I'm also attracted to positive companies that help our world and care about issues of social good."

The brand spot, created out of Made Movement and directed by MJZ's Dante Ariola, shows a different sensibility entirely and has the feel of a big-budget production. It shows the mother of all traffic jams featuring a motley cast of commuters in intense gridlock -- a woman applying makeup, a cop giving a wedding guest a DUI check, sad clowns, a tea-drinking cowboy, zebras, and, in a questionable casting choice -- a Latino guy with tats who makes his way along the highway even though there's a boot on his tire. One female driver, however, literally rises above all the mess, steps out of her car, mounts a mountain of autos that have slammed together and summons a ride through Lyft.

Somehow, the Lyft driver (who looks like she could be the rider's BFF), pulls up on a miraculously empty side street, the passenger gets in the shotgun seat, the two share a friendly exchange and then zip away. The tagline reads, "Riding is the new driving."