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UBER Stupid: Delivery Co. Panic-Edits Super Bowl Ad

You have to wonder what the so-called ‘creative’ minds behind this year’s UBER Eats Super Bowl ad were thinking. They made fun of folks with peanut allergies. And it’s no surprise that public outrage ensued…

A close call…

Nobody would have known until the ad aired during the Big Game – except that it was posted early on YouTube. This has become the custom with Super Bowl ads in the past few years, as the ads have become almost as popular as the game itself.

But it didn’t take long for allergy sufferers to raise almightly heck on social media. And allergy advocates to burst into action, condemning the food delivery giant.

According to a CBC News story: The Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) said Friday it was, “surprised and disappointed,” to see Uber Eats joking about, “the disease of life-threatening food allergy.”

No laughing matter

Although some advances have come in treating folks with peanut allergies, they are still a major concern. Folks with extreme allergies may not only suffer symptoms such as peripheral swelling or hives. They can also suffer anaphylaxis – which can kill you.

“In anaphylaxis, the immune system releases a flood of chemicals that can cause the body to go into shock,” the Mayo Clinic website explains. “Blood pressure drops suddenly, and the airways narrow, blocking your breathing. The pulse may be fast and weak, and you may have a skin rash. You may also get nauseous and vomit. Anaphylaxis needs to be treated right away with an injection of epinephrine. If it isn’t treated right away, it can be deadly.”

That’s why folks with extreme allergies – like peanut butter and bee stings – carry Eppy Pens, to inject epinephrine immediately upon sensing symptoms. That can save their life, but they still have to go to hospital for further treatment.

The ill-advised ad

It’s a montage of celebrity and non-celeb people receiving stuff via UBER Eats. The theme is, “Don’t forget all the great stuff we can bring right to your doorstep!” None other than Jennifer Anniston starts it off telling an UBER deliverer, “To remember something, you first have to forget something. Make room…”

The problem is, on non-celeb scene, lasting mere 2-3 seconds on the screen, featured a stereotypical balding middle-aged man breaking out in hives, with one eye swollen shut. Holding a peanut-butter smeared spoon and squinting at the back of the jar label.

“There’s peanuts in peanut butter?” he says, nodding in belated realization. “Oh, it’s the primary ingredient!”

The aftermath

As soon as UBER realized the major faux pas they were about to commit – had the ad aired as-was – they pulled it, and promised to edit out the offending scene.They could hardly do less.

Marketing experts were quick to roll their eyes over the debacle. “When it comes to humour, a brand really needs to identify what’s the sandbox they’re willing to play in, and what is and isn’t funny to them,” said Aleena Mazhar Kuzma, Senior VP at Toronto-based ad agency Fuse Create. “And I think, for Uber Eats, food shouldn’t be funny. It’s the thing that they most service to consumers, so making a joke out of it is not a smart thing to do.”

Understatement of the week?

~ Maggie J.

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