Last week, we had the pleasure of going to Estee Lauder’s head London office to attend a morning event, led by the two winners of a recent ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’ award. The two winners were the PR team at Estee Lauder and the entertainment PR agency Taylor Herring, both of whom briefed us on their winning campaigns. Taylor Herring were doing the PR for ‘my taxi’, the app for London black cabs.
Black cabs have been as much of the classic London scenery as the London Eye and the Big Ben, with no picture of London being complete without the iconic image of a black cab. These black cabs used to have a huge advantage, priding themselves on the fact that to be a qualified Black cab driver, you’d have to complete ‘The Knowledge”, a rigorous, lengthy test passed by the drivers, whereby they spent years going around the capital on mopeds, learning the ins and outs of London roads off by heart. Their high prices were justified, as a passenger pays a premium for a driver who knows where they’re going. However, in the age of the Satnav, “the Knowledge” is perhaps no longer advantageous or even relevant, especially with the rise of brands like Uber, which have taken the world by storm. Frankly, why would you ever get a black cab when you can get a cheaper, reliable alternative? Even the word “taxi” is falling out of use: people talk about “Ubering-it” home. Uber is another innovation that’s come to define our generation.
So, Taylor Herring’s challenge:
How can we promote the use of black cabs (MyTaxi) over vastly popular brands such as Uber, when Uber’s are a lot cheaper, trackable (and therefore safe), whereas London black cabs are notoriously more expensive? Taylor Herring came up with the clever, creative idea of “The Knowledge Plus”! The “Knowledge Plus” entailed getting MyTaxi London drivers trained medically: how to deal with injured civilians in incidents of acid attacks, heart attacks, general first aid, and last but not least- they were trained to deliver babies in incidents of childbirth! This innovative idea is the first of its kind, and includes essential health, safety and people skills to help drivers deal with medical emergencies. The move came from a survey conducted which discovered many cab drivers had been used as an alternative to an ambulance, and dozens of women giving birth in cabs each year! Taylor Herring’s clever idea to train Black cabs medically in attempt to boost their credibility over rival brands like Uber actually was very successful- 10 black cabs were fitted with defibrillators the week before launch and 100s fitted with first-aid kids. The majority of the national news outlets ran the story, there was an 18% increase in MyTaxi app downloads a 7.5% overall uplift in bookings week-on-week since the campaign was launched. The MyTaxi business has also grown by 101% year on year since November 2017!
Unsurprisingly, Taylor Herring were the winners of the award for this massively successful campaign to boost the credibility of MyTaxi and black cabs! Thank you to Estee Lauder for hosting us in their fantastic offices overlooking the entirety of London, and Sam Taylor-Wood at Taylor Herring for such a fun and engaging morning!