"Who's your Cabbie" is an initiative that began as a trial phase - to replace the 'TAXI' on the tops of cabs, with the name of the driver - a way of recognising the heroes who kept Dubai moving during the pandemic. The initiative was shared as an online video. From this point on, the campaign became a widespread social conversation, shared by thousands, including members of Dubai's ruling party.
This was soon followed up by articles by every significant blog and news outlet in the city.
In turn, RTA then proceeded to replace taxi tops on over 2000 cabs.
Globally over millions of taxi drivers are in operation every day. This commonplace job in every city of every country is a thankless career where nobody even knows who they are. They just fulfil their functional purpose. So much so that they are called names that aren’t even names – ‘Sir’, ‘Boss’, ‘My friend’, ‘Taxi Driver’.
RTA, Dubai’s transport authority, wanted to recognize their taxi drivers as heroes that keep the city moving. During the pandemic, when the entire city stood still, taxi drivers were a saving grace to the people of Dubai.
We wanted to ensure that the taxi drivers of Dubai felt truly appreciated and, moreover, recognized.
Describe the creative idea (20% of vote)
We needed to find a way that gave our city heroes something that would encourage them; something that had long-term value; and something they, as well as yellow-cab taxis all over the world never really had – their name.
Our idea was to replace 4 monotonous letters on the top of taxi cabs (TAXI) with the name of the driver behind the wheel. This small change with a big heart ushered in a sense of inclusion, humanizing their job, garnering respect, and reaffirming purpose to their essential career.
Describe the PR strategy (30% of vote)
While taxi drivers went above and beyond to serve the people of Dubai during the pandemic, they weren't recognised for their acts of heroism - nobody knew their name.
The aim was to get people to know who their heroes were. So rather than telling people to recognise their taxi driver, we gave people the ultimate tool to know exactly who was driving their cab. We replaced taxi light boxes (on top of cabs) with the driver's name.
Our campaign was created for everyone. Taxi customers in Dubai range from highschool students, to office-goers, to tourists, and those who enjoy Dubai's eclectic entertainment life. But the real target audience was an online population - growing in humanity and respect for frontline and essential workers.
Our main assets were patrolling the streets, with their name on top of the taxi, but also lived
Describe the PR execution (20% of vote)
As Dubai was on the road to recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, the city was opening up as people were getting vaccinated in numbers. We wanted to implement our idea at this time so that people would not forget the heroes that got them through lockdown and have always been there for them by keeping the city moving.
The idea was implemented on several yellow-cab taxis in the city. Each one would have the TAXI lightbox replaced with the drivers’ names. The lightbox became a medium that communicated the idea on every corner, highway and neighbourhood block in the city.
Upon implementation, the campaign would gather so much social media response, that RTA proceeded to replace the taxi tops on over 2000 cabs.
List the results (30% of vote)
69.7 million Earned Media Impressions (ZERO spend)
91% increase in Roads & Transport Authority Approval Ratings
73% increase in taxi rides
Over 2000 changed Taxi Tops (replaced with driver name)