Cargo, a startup that sells snacks and toiletries in ride-share cars, revealed today that it is offering free samples of Red Bull to customers as part of its expansion into Minneapolis. The city, which is hosting the Super Bowl on Feb. 4, is Cargo’s fourth market after starting service last year in New York, Boston and Chicago, per a statement shared with Mobile Marketer.
Sabina Rahaman, director of brand partnerships and merchandising for Cargo, said the company wants to surprise riders with complimentary Red Bull as they travel to attend the Super Bowl or Red Bull Crashed Ice, the ice cross downhill event that is being hosted this week in St. Paul, MN.
Cargo is adding Red Bull to its selection of products that includes beauty products like Labotica Green Tea Face Mask, unique remedies like Blowfish for Hangovers and snacks like Rice Krispies and RXBar. Cargo says rideshare drivers can earn an additional $500 a month from commissions, referrals and performance bonuses for selling products to riders.
The Cargo promotion shows how brands are exploring creative tactics for getting in front of Super Bowl fans outside of investing the significant bucks required to snag a Super Bowl sponsorship or ad, with mobile services like ride-hailing offering a way to connect with attendees as they travel around Minneapolis before and after the game.
Cargo aims to offer a win-win-win service for drivers who want to supplement their income, ride-sharing customers interested in impulse products during a ride and for marketers that want to reach a captive audience and drive product sampling. Product marketing and ride-sharing services have made big splashes in the past. For example, Kellogg in August offered several of its snacks to customers of ride-hailing apps like Uber and Lyft. A Marc Jacobs' six-hour Uber promotion featuring a free bottle of the brand's Daisy fragrance drove 61 million impressions and Hershey has also seen success with product promotions with Uber. Capital One is running a limited-time program to offer holders of its QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards credit card discounts on Uber.
Cargo aims to reach a captive audience of riders who like the convenience of buying snacks or breath mints while they travel. Riders have access to products immediately with a few taps on a mobile browser, boosting their ride-sharing experience. For drivers, it's free, and they can earn higher ratings and tips as a result. This presents a unique opportunity for marketers to connect with consumers via in-car products.
Uber said it’s working on improving the working conditions for drivers to lower the rate at which drivers were abandoning the platform. The company has experimented with different methods to incentivize drivers to work in a way that would boost its growth while keeping down costs, per The New York Times. The company has employed hundreds of social scientists and data scientists to experiment with gamification and noncash rewards to push drivers to work longer and harder even if it meant less money for them. A greater supply of drivers means quicker pickup times for customers, but also a greater percentage of drivers who are left sitting idle, leaving streets crowded with empty ride-share vehicles. Cargo may be one way to help drivers supplement their driving income.