Need a Lyft? Check Out This Uplifting Brand Short Film

“Taxi!” Man, how much I’ve always wanted to yell that. Or ”Hey, I’m walkin’ here! I’m walkin’ here”. Alas, I live in the 21st Century and us millennials don’t hail taxis. We either Uber around or get a Lyft. I’ve used both and am indifferent to which one is better. But I will say when it comes to branded short films, Lyft might just have the edge with June.

June is a branded short film made by Lyft as part of its 2016 Driver’s Appreciation Day. It premiered on December 14 as part of a promotion where Lyft matched the tips each driver made for the day. Its 315,000 drivers were able to get an additional $20 in tip matching.

The film is said to be based on the real experiences of drivers and passengers. It follows a lonely older woman who finds purpose by becoming a Lyft driver. I can’t say whether people actually find their life’s purpose using Lyft, but as far as branded shorts go I’d have no problem taking this ride again.

Lyft June Short Film

Some Good:

  1. The Story – Directed by John Kahrs, an Oscar winner for his 2013 animated short film Paperman, this film had the simple, yet inspiring feel as many of Pixar’s shorts do. This is what makes animation so powerful—you forget that you’re watching a cartoon and instead get sucked into the story. Here is a lonely woman who suddenly finds her spirit “lyfted” and reconnects with the world by starting a new chapter in her life, in this case by becoming a Lyft driver. The “reconnecting to the outside world via a new experience” is a tried-and-true formula that June proved still works.
  2. Lyft Being Low Key – This is going to be a “good” in all my reviews so bear with me if you keep on seeing it pop up. The most successful ads in my opinion are the ones that don’t beat you over the head with their product. Instead, the best ones use a subtle approach like June. Yes, Lyft is talked about early on so we know exactly what it is doing there. But outside of the first couple of minutes and little moments sprinkled about, I forgot about Lyft and instead found myself enamored with this little old lady tooling around a big city. Then, by film’s end, I had Lyft on the mind and wasn’t irked about it.
  3. The Inclusiveness – Everyone uses Lyft and Lyft did a good job recognizing that. Many people from different backgrounds were featured in this ad. This is smart marketing. Lyft is not for a certain sector of society. It is for everyone, so when you make your ad, you best include everyone—and Lyft did, which was smart.

Lyft June Short Film 3

Some Bad:

  1. The Animation – Now hold on, let me be clear here, the animation was well done, but it just wasn’t my taste. There was a flatness to it that, though compensated by a clever color scheme, I just couldn’t relate to as much as the classic hand-drawn approach, stop motion, or the more full-and-rounded computer animation from Pixar. I’m sure there was purpose to the method, but I personally had trouble finding it.

The Takeaway:

Did I want to drop what I was doing and jump in a Lyft ride after watching this film? No, not really. However, that wasn’t the point of the film. The film was an appreciation piece for its drivers and its passengers. Thus, the ad worked and other companies should take a look. It advertised its product by saying “Thank you.” So Lyft, in response, I’ll say, “You’re welcome.”


AUTHOR: Dan Nelsen
ORIGIN: Speaking Human Contributor

Follow Dan on Speaking Human  /  Human Content from Dan





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