Uber is delivering kittens to workplaces
Ride-sharing service Uber is delivering kittens to people’s desks in Australia this morning.
Uber is promoting the #Uberkittens initiative as part of a drive to raise funds and awareness for animal shelters.
The initiative launches today between 12pm and 4pm in six locations in Australia.
Uber customers can select the “kitten” option on the Uber app to order 15 minutes of cuddles for $40.
In a blog post today Uber promised customers could “press button, say Aaww”.
“Following the huge success of UberKITTENS in the US, we were inundated with requests from riders and some amazing local shelters to bring it to our shores so we could share the kitten love and spread the word about the importance of finding much needed homes for our furry friends.”
Cash from #Uberkittens goes to the participating animal shelter and customers will have the chance to adopt the kittens.
Uber has already trialled #Uberkittens in the United States and has also offered #Uberpuppies for puppy delivery using the same format.
Katie Curran, spokesperson for Uber Australia, told SmartCompany there are no plans to bring #Uberpuppies to Australia yet.
“But you never know,” she says.
“Today is all about kittens!”
The public relations move comes after Uber has come under fire following the arrest of a 31-year-old Uber driver from Melbourne over allegations he assaulted his teenage passenger.
There are also reports Google is set to muscle in on Uber’s territory with the launch of its own ride-sharing service.
Curran did not respond to a request for comment on whether #Uberkitten is an attempt to change the conversation from the spate of bad news stories surrounding Uber.
But Janey Paton, co-founder of Belles & Whistles public relations agency, says a positive story like this for Uber serves to deflect any negative publicity.
“I think it’s a great concept,” she says.
“In terms of workplaces, they are always looking for ways to differentiate themselves and attract and retain the best talent.”
Studies have shown patting and playing with pets releases serotonin makes you happy and Paton says #Uberkitten can be promoted as resulting in a happier workforce.
“It’s certainly going to generate talkability for the brand,” she says.
“It’s the ultimate integrated campaign to promote on social media, download the app and they turn up at your doorstep.”