Nick Mills

Volkswagen – Uber up! Test Ride


The Volkswagen up! is a car that’s made for the city and the people who live in it.They don’t go to dealerships anymore. 
They look online, buy what their friends have, inherit what their parents have, or use bicycles, taxis and Uber. 

To launch the Volkswagen up! to them, we decided to reach them where they were. On their phones. 

Partnering with Uber, we created the Uber Test Ride, allowing people to get a free ride in the up! to where ever
they needed to go. Rather than expecting them to go to the dealership, we brought the car to them.


We launched the campaign with a microsite. This served as a guide to getting you somewhere in the city. We asked the user a series of questions on how they wanted to make it in their specific city.

The answers to these questions would suggest different businesses at different addresses that could help you out.

We then offered the user a free promotion code that they could use with Uber to get them to their specific destination free of charge, and in the New VW UP!


We partnered with Uber to design an individual VW Up! experience. Once the promo code “UBERUP” had been entered, users got access to a new ride mode in their app. They got to see special VW Up! cars driving around on their screen.


We launched the activation with a selection of celebrity drivers whose distinctive personalities would appeal to our younger target market and complement the personality of the up!


People loved the car and the convenience of test-riding it, and took to Twitter to express their appreciation. Our Twitter following grew by 10% during our campaign period and we received over 140 000 Twitter impressions. 

The activation ran from March 2nd - March 9th, with 20 up!s split across three major cities – Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban.
Cars were available between 3 and 11pm to maximise the likelihood of bigger groups of friends requesting an Uber up! 

There were so many test ride requests (more than 12,000 requests in 6 days) that we repeated the activation a
few weeks later (April 15 – 19th) to meet demand (demand outstripped supply by 8 to 1 across the campaign). 

Our fleet of Volkswagen up!s were specially branded to increase their visibility, and our drivers were trained to speak
about the car’s range of USPs and answer any questions our test-riders might have.