Uber's ad drones mock Mexican commuters

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/10/17/ubers-ad-drones-mock-mexican.html


Why do I have the sneaking suspicion that, if the same ad campaign was being employed on behalf of a public mass-transit agency, the tone of this post would have been strikingly different?

No, I am not disappointed in Boing Boing, thanks for asking.


Since I might as well get in before the Uber Defense squad shows up and I have to ignore my notifications until the thread locks, again - While it’s pretty dickish, still one of the less, if not least dickish things that Uber has done.


I can’t imagine it’s very different for Mexico and other latin american countries (i’m from Venezuela), but public transportation is pretty good. There’s lots of private (and publicly) owned businesses and because of the competition the pricing isn’t bad and there’s different options. You can take a regular cab, a shared one with strangers, there’s vans that will park in a spot with multiple fares going to different locations along a route, there’s mini buses and buses, light rails, metros, etc.
Uber might be able to carve out a niche for them there and i believe it might be possible, but it won’t be as easy as it has been for them to overtake the market in the US.


What’s wrong with this picture? A lot…


Is this real?
Am I awake?


That’s dangerous talk here on BB. Borders on doubleplusungood.


My sentiments EXACTLY.

Especially considering that developing nations are the ones with the more lax pollution and energy laws typically.

Funny thing is - assuming people use Uber for ride sharing - actual rid sharing, not people using ubers as taxis - what is going to stop them from going, “Hey - you pick me up on odd days, I’ll pick you up on even days, and no one pays Uber”?

ETA - also why has no one used drone advertising for stuck in traffic commutes in the US yet? Like those huge ones in CA seem ripe for this.


You’re aware of your own bias’ and assuming others are similarly afflicted?


Oh I really want one of these drones, stuffed and mounted over my mantle. I wonder if they can detect a human lunging from a moonroof.


I am generally aware of my own biases, and freely admit their existence. Can you say the same? Apparently, my post struck a nerve, so perhaps not.

Over the past few decades, there have been numerous ad campaigns by public mass-transit agencies to raise awareness of ride-sharing, car pooling, and bus and train use, with the goal of getting single-rider automobiles off the roads, to reduce congestion and improve air quality, etc. I do not recall a single BB post claiming that such advertising “mocked” the single-rider automobile commuters in those instances.

So perhaps there was some difference that caused the OP to claim that they were being “mocked” in this instance? Something different… hmm, what could it have been?

PS: Not entirely sure what the stray apostrophe is doing in the word “bias” – you may want to have that checked.


I remember back when the Moonroof Lunge was a hit at all the discos.*

  • “Do the moonroof, moonroof, moonroof lunge!”

Is there a word (probably a German one) for something that’s both really cool and futuristic and also bloody annoying and dreadful? If there is it’s called for in the case of this ad campaign’s medium.

The message is fine. I’ve also seen similar snarky public transit billboards mocking drivers stuck in traffic.


Drones buzzing you with ads- totally not cool.

Ads mocking single occupancy drivers stuck in their commute? Not sure why that’s being portrayed negatively. I’ve seen billboards with a similar message on freeways here in the states.


I had the same thought, except if you’re in a traffic jam and traffic is already slow, a passenger from another car could scoop one up. They must have nearby pilots or at least transponders to recover when they’re lost,


Is this the real life?
Is this just fantasy?
Caught in a landslide
No escape from reality
Open your eyes
Look up to the skies and see~


Blame the FAA! Big government preventing free enterprise, or something.




If @doctorow hasn’t found or invented one already and used it in his books, he probably should. A lot of his stories are near-future tales which talk about the downsides of some of our more ubiquitous technologies.


I’m not sure if the Germans have one; but here in Capitalist America; if you here some tech bro use the term ‘disruptive’ you are pretty likely to have found an instance of what you describe.

Really, since Silicon Valley moved away from boring engineer stuff and switched to doing lines of VC money; they’ve been a downright tragic tale of some rather impressive tech pressed into service for surveillance, advertising, and a hip, modern, smartphone-enabled, revival of ‘casual labor’.