Uber, in a marketing move surely to be greeted with a child-like glee by the sweaty masses, has announced that customers will be able to beat July heat by ordering an ice cream with their ride through most of the afternoon Friday.
Uber Ice Cream – which the company hopes customers follow by using the #UberIceCream on Twitter and Instagram – will be available in 144 cities around the world. (Click here for a complete list of locations and exact times.)
“We wanted to create an experience with an application people might not have been able to use before,” Uber Phoenix General Manager Steve Thompson told the Phoenix Business Journal. “We want to show the power of technology.”
The ice cream order will be charged to users’ Uber account, and users will be able to request a specific kind of ice cream in the app before their ride arrives. In a bulletin announcing Uber Ice Cream the startup made it clear that “Demand will be very high and availability limited.”
For all the generosity points Uber is earning by selling ice cream (two days before National Ice Cream Day, no less) business analysts have already reminded the public that the offering is a shrewd marketing move, raising awareness both among customers and potential buyers.
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“They are leveraging their existing business model to raise brand awareness and to make money as well,” explained the technology blog Loop In Sight. “They are also crossing from one business model into another, that of home delivery. Hey Amazon/Google: If you buy Uber, you also get an instant, stealth, world-wide home delivery fleet.”