Rideshare company Lyft is on a mission to reshape the brand towards iconic cultural relevance targeted at a social-first Gen Z/Millennial audience.
As Lyft’s brand marketing social AOR, the Coolr team creates regular content and is ‘always on’, searching for proactive and reactive opportunities to get the brand noticed across TikTok, Instagram and Twitter.
Enter Pete Davidson, the Staten Island native who in a decade has gone from unknown standup to writer, movie star, SNL regular…and the internet’s most contested modern day sex symbol. For every person admitting to a crush on him, another - mostly men - is equally baffled by his appeal.
When Pete and Kim Kardashian broke up in August 2022 after nine months of dating, speculation and jokes about who he would date next sent Reddit, Twitter and TikTok into overdrive.
Knowing that sooner or later Pete would be spotted with his next girlfriend in tow - and convinced it would blow up and become a cultural moment - we were on high alert listening in to the social chatter!
Our main objective for the campaign was to connect Lyft to a pop-cultural social media moment - that wasn’t overly branded - and put humor and relatability at its heart.
Having swept a string of successful and beautiful women off their feet with his ordinary guy vibes, the world has become obsessed with Pete’s prolific love life.
After his high profile romance with Kim Kardashian ended in August 2022, we knew it would be only a matter of time before the lanky loverboy stepped out with his next high profile girlfriend. A couple of months later and our hunch turned out to be spot on.
Our strategy was to make Lyft part of everyday popular culture, getting involved in a natural conversation in a sassy and witty way.
The story that started it all: On the morning of Monday, November 14th, TMZ broke the story that Pete and model Emily Ratajkowski were possibly dating. Twitter went wild, with ‘Pete Davidson’ quickly trending, surpassing mid-term election coverage.
Fast means first: We immediately sprung into action and unleashed our (now legendary) eight-word tweet - ‘Call her a Lyft or Pete Davidson will.’ Within 30 minutes of seeing ‘Pete Davidson’ start to trend on Twitter, interactions rolled in at an average of six per minute, the bulk of which were Quote Tweets celebrating Lyft for the clever post.
Creating a meme: Our tweet created a meme of its own with multiple accounts and brands riffing on - and engaging with - the original Lyft version of “... or Pete Davidson will” Tweet. Nearly 10,000 net-new memes were born from the original Lyft Tweet. The meme was even spotted in real-life, adorning a Chicago pizza restaurant’s marquee signage. These memes, combined with the original Lyft tweet, have garnered 41M impressions.
Building momentum: The Lyft/Coolr social media team was also on fire in the comments and replies, responding and engaging with 75 messages within the thread of the original Lyft tweet. This helped fuel consumer brand love and algorithm virality, with the average response receiving 100+ ‘likes’ in the first 24 hours.
Our objective was simple:
Put Lyft at the center of a moment in popular culture, and make the conversation feel relatable and natural, not heavily branded
The results speak for themselves (see attached visuals)
With eight carefully crafted words, this became Lyft’s most viral tweet/organic social post EVER
7.6M impressions on Twitter with no paid media or boosting (vs average benchmark for a Lyft tweet of 9.6k)
Extensive press coverage, making it an authentic and genuine water cooler moment
Much of the audience found the tweet natural and conversational, and a culturally relevant way for a brand to market itself, as well as showing that Lyft understood Twitter.
Many of the quote tweets and replies were from consumers applauding the social team for having a finger on the pulse and a bit of sass, with many saying it made them want to switch from Uber.
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