It’s not a “Taxi Driver” spoof, as some had speculated, but it’s perhaps even better.
Uber is breaking its new campaign with Robert De Niro in the U.K. on Friday, and it turns out to be a charming short film co-starring Asa Butterfield, the young British actor best known for his role in the series “Sex Education.”
It’s best not to give too much away up top, but at the outset of the film, Butterfield is seen trying to make small talk with De Niro on a film set—with awkward results. But soon, they find common ground and an unlikely friendship ensues.
The film, directed by David Shane at O Positive, will run on TV, BVOD, cinema and digital, with cuts as short as six seconds. There will also be a set of posters supporting the film, as some work from influencers including Pablo Rochat (@pablo.rochat), Dani Ha (@daniverdari) and Dominique Davis (@allthatisshe).
Boiling down the Uber One proposition to “eating food and going places” is a great way to simplify things in a relatable way—and getting there through uncomfortable small talk is an inspired way in with a celebrity of De Niro’s stature.
Shane also does a fine job of building up the friendship through rom-com montage tropes, making good use of De Niro’s comedic skills, which the actor has leaned into often in his later years.
“The team achieved a great duality here: this film is both funny and sweet, ironic and sincere, direct and subtle—setting a really unique tone for Uber One in the U.K.,” Felix Richter, chief creative officer of Mother London, told Ad Age.
Here are some of the out-of-home ads:
“Our new campaign aims to let people know that Uber One is a membership for people who eat food and go places, which is just about everyone,” said Maya Gallego Spiers, U.K. and Ireland head of marketing at Uber and Uber Eats. “For our first-ever Uber One campaign, we've been lucky enough to work with the incredibly brilliant Robert De Niro and Asa Butterfield, who have brought this campaign to life beautifully on screen.”
Uber One allows users to save money on both Uber rides and Uber Eats deliveries. The membership program has more than 1 million members in the U.K.