NOTATION: The idea is that Uber “is there to help you” when you’ve made a bad choice in life. Uber: Taxi Driver is a commercial concept about an innocent rider having the taxi ride from hell on the day of an important job interview. Uber is there to save the day.
PROTOTYPE: A young, fresh out of college guy named Derek is excitedly texting friends and family the day before his first big job interview. He’s getting all sorts of positive support and help from his group of loved ones, including advice on what to wear, how to be professional, and what not to say. He wants everything to be as smooth and stress-free as possible.
His big brother texts him to ask how he’s planning on getting to the interview. The young guy texts back that he has already scheduled a taxi pick up time. He explains that since some of his friends suggested that public transportation is too iffy to rely on and that looking for parking could make him late and frazzled, he thought that a taxi was the perfect solution. His big brother texts him back an eye roll emoji with a promo link to Uber. Then he texts that if he sets up his account with the link, the first 3 rides are free. The young guy texts back saying thanks but no thanks; he’s already sorted it all out with a scheduled ride with a top rated taxi company in the area. The older brother texts back to say Uber is way more reliable and convenient than a taxi service. Plus he can try it for free.
It’s the next day and the young guy is dressed to the nines, ready to go, and standing on the curb 5 minutes before the taxi is due. He’s as prepared as he will ever be and is stoked to get into the interview. The minutes creep by as he continues to check the time on his phone. It’s 10 minutes past his scheduled pick up when he finally calls the taxi company demanding to know where his appointed ride is. He gets put on hold and his anxiety is ever-escalating as the easy listening call hold music crackles through the speaker. When he finally connects with dispatch, he gives out all of his information only to be told that there is no record of a scheduled ride matching his pick up address. After a few minutes, the dispatcher finally says that they found an on-call taxi driver that could be there in 15 minutes.
The taxi finally arrives, and the young guy rushes into the back seat and asks to confirm the destination address. It was entered into the system incorrectly, so the taxi driver slowly takes down the address and updates his GPS. The taxi driver then proceeds to sit in front of the apartment while he calls to update dispatch. The meter is running and time is ticking down. Derek is trying to be patient as he sits in the back of the seat. He tries to shift to a more comfortable position only to realize that his shoe is stuck to a piece of nasty green gum embedded in the carpet. Totally disgusted, he goes to free his foot and notices that upon closer inspection, the entire back seat is filthy.
The driver finally cuts out into traffic to a chorus of loud angry honking. Not too long into the ride, the young guy starts to get motion sick as the taxi driver weaves in and out through traffic at the speed of light. Then the driver rolls down the windows and starts loudly telling his life story about how he became a taxi driver in the city. At one point, he waves a pistol while proudly exclaiming that he has never been robbed, not even on the night shift. The young guy is clutching his phone in one hand and the seat with the other, trying to calculate how late he might be and his likelihood of survival. The taxi driver takes the long way and finally gets the young guy to his interview 20 minutes late and negative $36.50.
The young guy practically throws himself out of the back seat and runs to the lobby entrance. His hair looks blasted from the wind, his outfit is creased and crumpled from being thrown around in the back seat on tight turns, and his face is pale and sweaty from motion sickness. He walks in looking like a complete wreck only to be told by reception that he has missed his interview window and to call back.
He sits down in the waiting area, utterly disheveled and defeated. He then pulls out his phone and clicks on the link his older brother had sent the day before. He sets up his account and requests a ride within seconds. He sighs as he gets up to wait outside. Just as he is walking to the curb, a sleek black sedan pulls up. The window rolls down and a pretty and put together looking girl leans over the front seat and says, “Hi! Are you Derek? I’m your Uber driver today.”
After an uneventful and pleasant ride home, he changes his clothes and lays out on the couch. His older brother texts him to ask how it went and he spills all of the details on the taxi driver from hell. His brother just texts back a LMAO emoji followed by a smug “told ya so”.
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