Uber may not be flavour of the month with the powerful taxi industry, but it's gaining plenty of fans around the world, including Google, which invested US$258 million in it last year. And, as part of a global promotion, it's hoping to draw attention to the on-demand driver service by offering Aucklanders a chance to have some of Auckland's finest ice cream delivered to their door.
Smartphone users can order ice cream through the Uber app and have it delivered to the CBD and other suburbs by private driver today. Every buyer gets two tubs of "the world's best gelato, Giapo—Samoan Caramel & Kiss Kiss—for $20 until stocks last, with the ice cream charged to the user's account. And after trying for half an hour up to 4pm, there were no ice cream drivers available due to high demand.
The global promotion kicked off at 2pm and Auckland was the first of 144 cities to get the ice cream delivery option. This follows on from previous stunts overseas, like dropping off cupcakes or celebrating national cat day in the US by driving kittens around and giving people some stroking time.
Uber Auckland general manager Oscar Peppit says the service doesn't release number on users, but he says it's seen some fast growth in Auckland and it's had thousands of downloads. As for the promo, it's "already fulfilled several hundred ice cream orders, and we're going till 9pm tonight".
"The signups and engagement we're seeing in Auckland right now is off the charts. We're selling ice to Eskimos. Seeing this much demand in the dead of winter has really been great to see. People love ice cream."
There's been plenty of excitement about the promotion on Twitter. And, as Vend's Sim Ahmed said: "Entire office in a frenzy for #ubericecream, as if none of us have ever had one before, in our lives, ever!"
No doubt Giapo will be pleased with the extra business, too.