Fact is, people drive success in experiential marketing. The greatest events are run by the greatest people. The best brand experience departments have the best people. The hottest agencies have the people with the boldest ideas.

Strange though, that most of the folks working in event marketing found the sector by accident—there are still few schools that offer majors in experiential and even fewer classes on the discipline offered across the nation’s colleges and universities. Add to this narrative the current unemployment numbers—the lowest in decades—and you begin to realize that it is only getting harder to recruit talent in this space… not easier. Translation: We need to do something to stimulate the next generation of experiential marketers.

In an effort to raise awareness for the experiential industry as a potential career path—thereby “priming the pump” today for tomorrow’s talent pool—Event Marketer, leading event agency MAS Event + Design and Uber teamed up on a national student experience design competition. The Brand X Challenge invited students across the country to get exposure to the experiential discipline by designing a fictitious event campaign for a real brand—Uber—and more than 250 teams of students spanning more than 100 schools signed up.

We all had our roles. MAS designed the structure of the competition, issued a mock “creative brief” and served as a mentor resource for student teams. Uber lent a new brand—its Uber Health offering—to the competition for the teams to design campaigns around. And EM’s editors managed communication with the teams and coordinating the crowning of the Brand X winners at a luncheon at the Experiential Marketing Summit in Las Vegas.

In order to participate, teams had to watch two online training webcasts—one with MAS explaining the nuances of experience design; the other with Uber explaining the Uber Health solution. Teams that completed both webcasts received the creative brief, built by MAS founder and chief creative officer Mia Choi, who served as Brand X’s head of creative.

After meeting with Uber and peeling back the layers of the new Uber Health rideshare offering—which lets healthcare providers arrange rides for patients and caregivers—Choi challenged students to design a mock “Healthiest Town in America” campaign focused on using Uber to connect driver-partners, riders and healthcare providers in the U.S. The MAS team required that all Brand X campaign entries follow a “big idea” that came to life across the following criteria:

• Right Place. Students had to select a town in the U.S. that would play host for the mock campaign and provide a reason for selecting that location.
• Pre-Buzz. Teams had to create a social media and online teaser campaign to launch, promote, and build buzz and excitement for the activation.
• Live Experiences. To connect with healthcare providers, teams had to design a 20-foot-by-20-foot “pop-up” activation space that promoted the value of Uber Health (it connects doctors with patients) to the well-being of their patients. For riders and drivers, students had to design other activations and experiences around town in public spaces to promote the campaign to riders and drivers. MAS advised the students to “lean into” the local elements of the town for creative credibility.
• Digital Support. Teams were asked to include a run-through of any social media, online elements and technology that may support or extend/amplify live experiences.
• ROI. Looking good is half the battle. Experience design is only successful if it motivates audiences to act. Teams needed to demonstrate that their plan would deliver results by submitting a sample activation report, a summary of how they’d communicate to an executive team why the program would be deemed a success.

Teams were given a few weeks to put together initial thoughts and then were matched with a designer from the MAS team during Brand X Mentor Week. Students received some candid commentary during mentor sessions about their ideas and given some questions they’d need their campaigns to answer. From there the teams were on their own to create the best Brand X entry they could.

At the same time, EM was using and @brandxchallenge on Instagram to feed the teams case studies, inspiration and information on the program. We also issued weekly challenges to the students that dangled prizes (gift cards, earbuds, etc.) in exchange for content—their own renditions of the Brand X logo, videos of them working on their entries, photos of team meetings, and more (for examples, scroll to our Q&A with Mia Choi below).

Meanwhile, we needed to recruit some brands to judge the final entries, so we sent out a few invites. Audi said they’d love to judge. And eBay. YouTube and Verizon were next. Then Xbox. All of a sudden, word of Brand X was out—and more and more brands raised their hands to become a part of it. Anheuser-Busch, Cisco, Facebook, General Motors and Google came next. Then Intel, L.L. Bean, Marriott, Nestlé, Oracle, Pfizer, Salesforce, Sephora, Under Armour and more. In all, more than 25 of the biggest brands in the world got behind Brand X—because they recognized the value in developing the next generation of the industry’s workforce.

In early May, the judges scored, Uber and MAS reviewed it all with our editors and the winners were notified. The two Drexel students that won first place (plus $5,000, an internship and bragging rights) hopped a plane and were honored at the Experiential Marketing Summit’s Brand X Luncheon attended by judges, the Uber team and our editors. MAS’s Choi presented the creative brief and the winning campaign in front of more than 1,000 marketers. Uber Health chief Dan Trigub presented trophies. And the crowd gave a standing ovation.

“We were honestly blown away by some of the passion and commitment that many of the teams brought to the table throughout the entire competition. It’s energizing to see these students so excited about the work we do in this industry,” says Choi. “Personally, I was pleasantly surprised by how clever some of the campaigns were, how in tune many of the teams were in understanding their audiences.”

Through social communications, emails, reposts online and outreach to students, professors and design academics, Brand X was seen by more than one million students. The majority were not majoring in anything related to experiential and most were undecided about their future career paths. Hopefully live experiences are now a consideration.

A huge congratulations to all the teams that participated—coverage of the top 10 entries begins after our q&a with Mia Choi on the next page—and a humble thank you to all our partners: The brand judges who donated their time, the team at Uber that took a leap of faith with us and the incredible team at MAS Event + Design that dove into the deep end with us to inspire the next generation of experience creators.

Profiles by Kaylee Hultgren


Catching up with Brand X head of creative, MAS Event + Design’s Mia Choi

Mia Choi, chief creative officer of MAS Event + Design

Mia Choi, chief creative officer of MAS Event + Design

Mia Choi, MAS Event + Design’s chief creative officer, dove into the deep end with Brand X—working with Uber, producing training webcasts for student teams and using her entire creative bench as mentors. She also built the creative brief all students designed against. For someone with a hefty day job, moonlighting as an industry ambassador for students from more than 100 colleges and universities was, in a word, huge. We caught up with Brooklyn-based Choi for a few minutes of Brand X chitchat.

Event Marketer: Is it strange that given the explosive growth of our industry that so few colleges and universities offer an experiential curriculum?
Mia Choi: Experiential design and production is a relatively new design medium when you think in context of more established mediums like advertising or architecture. It will happen at some point, but for now the best we can do is get the word out with programs like Brand X.

EM: We keep hearing the phrase “people crisis” thrown around the experiential marketing industry. Do you find that recruiting people is getting exponentially more difficult?
MC: Experience design is a nebulous term that can be defined in so many different ways. Even from agency to agency the discipline and approach vary dramatically. At MAS, we expect everyone on our team to have a broad, multidisciplinary skill-set that allows them to jump in and think critically about the work at every phase of the project. This has made it especially challenging for us to find qualified people—but when we do, they’re likely to stick around longer because of the opportunities they have to learn and grow on the team.

EM: And does our industry require a specialized type of person? Describe the “right person” that you’re looking for.
MC: You can teach the nuts and bolts of events, but truly having the heart and stamina for it is rare. The right person loves the drama, loves seeing something built where there was nothing before, is willing to do whatever it takes to make sure we hit our goals, and sees this as more than a job—it’s a passion.

EM: How would you describe the team you’ve built at MAS?
MC: I love my team. We are a team of diligent misfits. Smart, strategic and always pushing each other for the best results. We collaborate without ego and the best idea wins no matter where it comes from. We work as one team rather than a company of departments.

EM: You created the Brand X creative brief for the mock Uber campaign. Can you describe your thinking?
MC: First and foremost, we wanted the ask to be realistic in the brief, offering teams an opportunity to test their skills on a real-world client challenge. We spent time with the Uber team asking questions and understanding the obstacles they faced with bringing a service like Uber Health to market. From there, we crafted a brief that fit our model definition for a successful experiential marketing campaign,
pushing teams to think through the entire experience leading up to the event, how to tailor their messaging to work for multiple audiences and how to sustain momentum after the event. We intentionally didn’t specify a budget, but we asked teams to justify their work with real strategic insights, define metrics for success and explain how they would measure the effectiveness of their work against them. From our perspective, this represents the way the industry works today. We’re no longer just creating events. We’re challenged by our clients to think like brand marketers, designing the architecture for every aspect of a fully integrated campaign—and quantifying our work every step of the way.

EM: Were some of the Brand X teams more “into it” than others? And did some surprise you with their thinking?
MC: We were honestly blown away by some of the passion and commitment that many of the teams brought to the table throughout the entire competition. It’s energizing to see these students so excited about the work we do in this industry. Personally, I was pleasantly surprised by how clever some of the campaigns were, how in tune many of the teams were in understanding their audiences.

EM: Finish this sentence: You hope the next generation of brand experience creators are passionate about….
MC: Brand experience creators should always be curious explorers of the world. I hope the next generation, just like many that are successful in this generation, have their eyes open to the world and are eager to try so many different things. It doesn’t matter if it’s directly related to work or not, it’s that passion and interest in exploring something new that makes us better marketers, designers and storytellers.

TEAM NAME: Eighttwentyseven
SCHOOL: Drexel University
DESIGNERS: Ben Red and Sabrina Tran

The centerpiece of the 2019 Brand X Winner’s campaign was a race across Philadelphia—Team Eighttwentyseven’s designated “Healthiest Town in America”—in which riders, drivers and healthcare providers participated in a citywide obstacle course simulating the service’s functionality.

Most impressive was the campaign’s ability to simultaneously engage all stakeholders—at one time. At the heart of it was a competition between healthcare providers in Philadelphia, a city in which healthcare and social assistance services are its largest economic drivers. But the campaign also served as a vibrant, real-world example of the future of healthcare savings for riders, a potential new revenue source for drivers and a collaborative community-building exercise geared toward healthier living. The campaign’s tagline says it all: Lowering the cost of Philly’s healthcare, one ride at a time.

The concept: Healthcare service providers who signed up for the race had to navigate a stream of riders, or potential patients, through five checkpoints themed around key pillars of health: mental, physical and social. Transportation through the course was provided by Uber Health drivers, in only low or zero-emission vehicles, with the incentive of receiving double the revenue for their services on race day. Riders were asked to complete an activity at each station, check in using lanyards given at registration, and rate the quality of their experience at each stop—with three free Uber rides as a reward.

To drum up excitement for the race, Team Eighttwentyseven engaged each audience in the spaces and on the platforms they most frequent. As Philly is home to numerous healthcare conferences, Uber Health-branded golf carts drove conference attendees around event venues while marketing to healthcare providers through the Uber app. To engage riders, farmer’s markets popped up in transportation hubs. Drivers were targeted in-app and through email, with “earn double revenue” as the marketing message.

On race day, registered teams of healthcare service providers, motivated by winning the prize of one free month of Uber Health services, were instructed to arrive at the finish line, the site of a 20-foot by 20-foot activation space. After check-in, a race coordinator would give the participants a brief tutorial on how to use the Uber Health iPad dashboard and the scoring process. Once ready to start, the teams—manning dashboards two at a time—would begin receiving rider requests. A giant scoreboard that posted the providers’ progress in real time and on social media helped to amp up competition throughout the race.

Drivers participating in the competition escorted riders to and from each station through the app, using designated lanes and rider pickup points. A text ahead of their shift prompted each driver to proceed to check-in at the starting line. After they were confirmed “active,” their vehicle changed color to Uber Health green within the app and they were set to pick up riders throughout the course.

The rider experience began after each participant received a few components of an Uber Health-branded Health kit, including a bag and a reusable water bottle. At each new station, riders had to complete an activity that reflected one of the aforementioned pillars of health.

Station two’s activity supported mental health through engaging in 5-10 minutes of yoga and meditation on Uber Health-branded mats. Riders were awarded with another component of the Uber Health Kit, a branded stress ball, when finished.

Station three, supporting physical health, asked riders to walk or jog to the top of the Philadelphia Art Museum steps and then complete a few exercises, including jumping rope and laps around a track, before heading back. Ensuring that the event was inclusive to all, handicapped participants would receive special assistance from trainers. The takeaway gift was a jump rope.

The fourth station, dedicated to social health, invited both riders and the general public to participate in a crowdsourced activity geared toward improving Philly’s health. Riders followed signage to a large wall which read, “How do we make our community a healthier place?” With pens and Post-it notes in hand, participants—and any member of the public who felt so inspired—contributed a suggestion to the board. In a nice touch, our winners declared that all suggestions would be documented, vetted and sent to Philadelphia’s city council as feedback for improving the community.

At the finish line, dubbed “The Dash-Board,” the scores were tallied, a winner was declared and riders received their vouchers. It was also a place for healthcare providers to interact with their riders and for Uber Health reps to answer questions about the service. A photo op of an Uber-branded Philly skyline was the backdrop for a finisher photo using hashtag #loveyourhealth, in addition to two customized Snapchat filters for riders: one with a skyline illustration and one with a trophy to commemorate the end of the rider’s journey.

SCHOOL: UC Berkeley
DESIGNERS: Vienna Neo, Jessica Tzeng
and Kate Ong Sze Yin

Team REP’s big idea for its “Journey to Health” campaign was to position Uber Health as a service that helps consumers along their journey to healthy living and toward a healthier community. It focused on increasing Uber Health’s brand equity among a primary and secondary demographic—healthcare providers and elderly or low-income patients, respectively—while presenting transportation, specifically the Uber Health service, as a vehicle toward better healthcare for all.

The team chose Los Angeles for its less-than-perfect public transportation rating, large number of hospitals and research centers and the high percentage of target audience members as the setting for three main events: a mobile pop-up to engage healthcare staff; a cocktail event for important stakeholders and potential future partners; and a consumer-facing, week-long series of health events to engage riders, dubbed Uber Health Week.

The mobile pop-up’s objective was to raise awareness and increase the value of the Uber Health service in the eyes of healthcare workers. Designed with a sleek color palette featuring Uber Health’s black, white and green colors, the pop-up traveled to three top-rated hospitals. As staffers moved through its touchpoints, they received stamps that were redeemable for a prize. Activities included playing a Journey to Health game, exploring the Uber Health dashboard, taking a quiz on their learnings, posting “I Care Because…” stickers on a message wall, and finally, signing a petition to bring Uber Health to their hospital.

Targeting a different type of provider, the cocktail event catered to stakeholders and future partners. The goal was to sign up partners. Through a keynote presentation and various interactive elements, as varied as trying on an aging empathy suit to using a cost calculator, the event highlighted the idea that Uber Health can help replace lost revenues providers experience due to missed patient appointments.

For the general public, the team conceived of a series of fun, health-focused events during a designated Uber Health Week. Awareness was the primary goal here. A mini-gym filled with stationary bikes encouraged physical activity and community building, and a mobile clinic made up of a team of physicians traveled to senior homes to provide free check-ups. Other events included a free yoga workshop and an Uber Health-sponsored 10k, 5k and half-marathon. An online teaser campaign across multiple platforms as well as a one-week health challenge to inspire daily social posts from consumers were the campaign’s social highlights.

SCHOOL: University of Pennsylvania
DESIGNERS: Grant Cho, Zhangyi (David)
Fan, Emma Lu and Chloe Niu

Team EZEC’s slogan, “Health Starts With U,” reflects the campaign’s emphasis on health as an important factor in consumers’ daily lives. Rather than focusing on securing partnerships with healthcare providers, they chose to zero in on creating excitement for the service. They did that through creating an in-app game, a futuristic health clinic and an immersive real-world game simulating the in-app experience.

First up, the team’s campaign teaser, a new mobile game called “Uber Health on the Go.” The game pops up in the Uber app during the time period between the requested drive and pickup. Players, functioning as Uber Health drivers, try to pick up as many patients as possible before crashing. A “challenge a friend” feature allows users to invite others to play, both through the Uber app and via Facebook’s game platform, as an added vehicle to extend promotion beyond Uber users.

During play, in-game trivia educates players on the Uber Health service. The game itself is modeled after the classic, addictive game of “Snake,” and the setting is a pixelated version of Philadelphia, Team EZEC’s chosen location. Each patient is added to the snake shape and rounds get progressively difficult.

To engage both healthcare providers and future patients, our third-place winners envisioned a popup health fair featuring several stations of new, future-leaning technologies for patients provided by sponsors. For sponsoring or funding the event, providers would receive a free, month-long trial of Uber Health in addition to the benefits of interacting with consumers at the popup. A digital counting system would show providers the cost savings associated with the Uber Health service, and patients would benefit from free Uber rides to and from the event as well as a free checkup.

Finally, the on-site activation targeting the general public would feature a driving simulation game in a two-story U-shaped building—essentially the campaign’s in-app game in real life. The first floor featured a health-related game experience, murals from local Philly artists and a branded photo booth.

Floor two featured the immersive game, played two at a time. While sitting in a driving pod, players would receive notifications when a ride was requested. Finding the more strategic route to the hospital was the goal. At the end of the game, the points earned would convert to Uber vouchers. And for those waiting in line for a turn, a rollerblading rink nearby could be enjoyed.

SCHOOL: Pratt Institute
DESIGNERS: Ah Hyun Kim and Michelle Wang

In what might be the most Instagrammable campaign of the bunch, down to its graphics, floor plans and boldly-colored creative, Team AM’s program centered around the potential for healthy and happy living. They interpreted Uber Health’s business model as sending love in the form of care, and designed a pop-up experience and social media campaign inspired by Florida’s famously sweet oranges. Its tagline: “Safe, Secure, Sweet.”

The team chose Miami, FL, as its target location, due to its large elderly and obese populations and the city’s inconvenient commute. Their ideal location was at the center of various hospitals and retirement homes in order to target potential patients, but close to the University of Miami campus so that younger folks would also participate in the event and spread the word through social media.

Teasers for the event included billboard ads and publicity announcements, Instagrammable street art and, most importantly, celebrity endorsements in which the talent were pictured eating orange slices labeled with the Uber Health logo.

The pop-up’s design featured an open floor plan that was clean and sanitary while being bright and colorful, with the intent of matching the look of a Miami resort. Upon entry, consumers encountered a kiosk shaped like an orange and green pill. This is where attendees were required to learn about Uber Health and its benefits before being rewarded with a complementary orange juice and a raffle ticket.

After lounging by an on-site pool and sipping the cool beverage, attendees would then wash and dry the bottle at a sink station, write a message to a loved one, and place the rolled-up note in the bottle to be shipped. The fundamental idea here: “You send love, and Uber Health sends care.”

The campaign relied heavily on social media to promote the message. On-site, brand ambassadors passed out orange slices with Uber Health labels on them to attendees and offered to take pics mimicking the celebrity endorsements from the teaser campaign. Snapchat and geo-filters were factored into the experience as well.

TEAM NAME: Supermoon
SCHOOL: Carnegie Mellon
DESIGNERS: Mimi Jiao, Miranda Luong, Vicky Zhou
and Jason Zhu

Team Supermoon’s campaign, “Opening doors to healthy living,” positions Uber Health as a critical tool that empowers people to embrace healthy lifestyles. It begins with outreach to healthcare providers attending major Seattle-based conferences. At the Uber Health activation space, providers would be asked to construct health-themed gift sets that reinforce three pillars of healthy living: products, experiences and accessible healthcare.

The provider activation was divided into sections, each requiring doctors to use physical building blocks to unlock experiences, create kits for patients, learn about local Seattle experiences sponsored by Uber, and observe wall animations visualizing the impact of Uber Health. After choosing product kits for patients that suited their desired health goals, providers were given an overview of the Uber Health service. If they signed up, they received 100 free rides for patients and the preferred gift sets were sent out to patients.

In the interim, rider activations would begin to pop up around town that mimicked the healthcare provider experience but were tailored to riders’ motivations, such as outlining the benefit of Uber Health in comparison to public transport. They, too, would begin with exploring an Uber Health campaign microsite, followed by a quiz to determine their health goals. To unlock the activations’ various experiences, riders would be prompted to use an Uber Health Wallet pass. Free products and tickets to local experiences sponsored by Uber would be the incentive.

Meanwhile, drivers would be sent messages in-app and via email notifications to head to their own activation, a pop-up space designed to address driver-specific health needs, such as fatigue, soreness and lack of nutrition.

The buzz teaser campaigns for these experiences would target doctors and healthcare providers as one group, and drivers and riders as another. The former would be targeted through email newsletters and flyers around healthcare facilities. Riders and drivers would experience ads in public transportation spaces, where the target consumer is likely to be, through billboards, and subway, bus and bus stop advertisements.

As for KPIs, Team Supermoon would measure unique visits of the campaign microsite during the pre-experience phase, check-ins and conversion rates during the on-site phase, and the conversion rate through emails and follow-ups post-event.

TEAM NAME: Avocado
SCHOOL: Carnegie Mellon
DESIGNERS: Danny Cho, Lauren Kenny, Connor McGaffin and Jaclyn Saik

Team Avocado’s campaign sought to connect transportation and health through the use of a friendly, neighborhood visual language and dual activations that would inspire people to use Uber to reach healthy places in the livable city of Pittsburgh. Its tagline, “We’re the Bridge,” connotes the idea that Uber Health is about bringing people from home to healthcare.

It all kicked off with a teaser campaign that encouraged Pittsburgh residents to visit an Uber-curated “Pittsburgh’s Healthy Spots” list. The call-to-action would introduce the public to the campaign that would occur the following week.

An Uber promotion helped to encourage the participation of drivers and riders. For a week leading up to the campaign, drivers would get a pay increase, and riders a discount, when taking an Uber to any of the spots on the list. And, if a participant took a pic and posted it on social media with the hashtag #uberhealthpgh at any of the activation sites, they were entitled to receive a free succulent donated by the local Phipps Conservatory when they arrived at the event.

The activation for healthcare providers, called Steps with Uber Health, was built near healthcare-related institutions in addition to two universities. First, attendees would input brief data about themselves on their phones and then walk onto an interactive platform. At that point, quantitative data would appear detailing the improvements that a healthcare provider would experience with Uber Health, including money saved and additional patients supported.

For riders and drivers, the campaign’s secondary audience, an Uber Health Hydration Station served a selection of health-conscious flavored waters and local seltzers, giving Uber more of a small-town feel. Its open, inviting layout was meant to facilitate the “bridge” between Uber Health services and Pittsburgh’s community of riders and drivers.

A local restaurant catering healthy bites and swag was available for those who showed their social posts from the teaser phase. Additionally, the campaign featured GIFs and social posts in its signature style as well as a Facebook filter that invited users to place themselves within their preferred “Healthy Spot.”

SCHOOL: New York University/Emerson College
DESIGNERS: Kevin Kim, Jared Leong and Jennifer Tang

With the tagline “Healthier, Together,” Team JeKeJa positioned Uber Health as a partner of both the healthcare community and the public. The team’s primary source of engagement: an experiential game called “Don’t be late!” that was present at both b-to-b and b-to-c activations. The game pits an Uber Health driver against a public transportation user in an effort to highlight the myriad steps required to arrive at an appointment on time, from traffic delays, missed train connections to car trouble.

The team landed on Atlanta, GA, as its target because research revealed a lack of adequate public transport, an increase in elderly population and an increase in physicians to the area. The location for the healthcare provider pop-up was a symposium focused on healthcare design research and the innovative design of primary and inpatient care.

Attendees would discover the pop-up through its photo wall on the exterior, an oversized mural or digital signage. Once within the space, visitors could participate in the game, enjoy a branded cold-pressed juice or explore information on Uber Health, including sign-up opportunities, in a networking area.

For the rider experience, three malls across Atlanta with high foot traffic would house the pop-ups. The number of gaming booths in the on-site activation would increase to two or three, with additional Uber Health representatives directing flow. There would also be a sign-up for interested drivers, and all game participants would receive an Uber gift card.

When it came to social integration and tie-ins, Facebook was the team’s preferred platform for providing details on the interactive game, while Instagram would feature a behind-the-scenes video of how the event came together. The campaign would enlist a film crew to be on-site during the activations to capture the reactions of users so that clips could be used to create sizzle reels for later activations.

TEAM NAME: Pack 19
SCHOOL: North Carolina State University
DESIGNERS: Sydney Chance, Madi delCharco,
Anastasia Ratti and Sarah Sprinkle

Team Pack 19’s pop-up experience, called “Just What the Doctor Ordered,” allowed visitors to move through a replica of a doctor’s office—but one that’s a lot more interactive and visually stimulating than your typical appointment.

It began with a location: The State Fair of Texas in Dallas, a city chosen for its high appointment no-show rate, myriad health facilities, poor public transit and the city’s interest in transportation improvements.

To attract potential attendees to the event, kiosks offering information on Uber Health and free rides would be placed in high-traffic areas around Dallas as well as the fair itself. Consumers could opt for a free ride to the pop-up or schedule an Uber Health ride to an upcoming doctor’s appointment. The kiosks would remain functional beyond the duration of the pop-up in order to continue educating the public about Uber Health.

The campaign also teased the event through posting creative to social media using countdowns and heartwarming photography. Posters touting free Uber rides to the pop-up were placed in Dallas and on the fairgrounds.

The pop-up space itself would include four areas for Uber Health education and experiences: the waiting room, a check-up area, the appointment and fetching a prescription. First, attendees entered a waiting room full of oversized toys—the first of the fun photo ops. Next, a wall that read “How Do You Measure Up?” allowed visitors to measure their height and compare it to benchmarks from famous Dallas natives.

In the appointment section, attendees could get a personalized “prescription” for vitamins based on their needs while learning more about Uber Health. A special symbol on an attendee’s prescription would mean they received an additional prize. Visitors to the pop-up traded in their prescriptions for vitamin kits and prizes including fair rides, gift cards to healthy local restaurants and free Uber rides.

SCHOOL: St. Charles Community College
DESIGNERS: Timothy Guffey, Maddie Mitchell and Anahi Anchondo Sakoda

Team Klass created three experiences to target healthcare providers, riders and drivers: a local pop-up with an immersive VR experience, an arcade machine to be placed in locations across the country, and a mobile/web game accessible to anyone with an Uber Health account.

Arlington, Texas, was the town selected by Team Klass. With a major lack of public transportation and only one app-based ridesharing service available, the city stood to benefit from the Uber Health service.

The campaign’s social media teaser, debuting one month before launch, created anticipation through targeted social media ads containing the call to action, “Get in the driver’s seat,” along with the date of the pop-up event. An image of a driver in the ad enticed the audience without too much of a reveal.

On-site at the event, attendees engaged in a virtual reality-driving game that put the player in the driver’s seat of an Uber Health vehicle. The goal was to pick up as many patients as possible in an allotted time frame. A scoreboard recorded how well players fared, and prizes were awarded, including wristbands, pop sockets, sunglasses, t-shirts and gift cards, to high scoring drivers. Attendees also gained access to a Snapchat filter for the event. The same game would be delivered to various arcades across the country, absent the VR component.

Lastly, a mobile/web application duplicated the action of the driving game but within the Uber Health app. The app functioned as a way for Uber Health account holders to interact with the service. Players could also collect in-game currency, “Uber Cash,” that could be redeemed for discounts on rides.

Two additional components to the campaign worth mentioning: for patients who did not have a phone or computer, the team designed a customized device that required only the press of a button to request—or cancel—a ride with Uber Health. Team Klass also created a browser-based version of the mobile app that didn’t require a smartphone but delivered the same functionality. Rides could be requested and tracked, and the same mobile game was offered as well.

SCHOOL: UC Berkeley
DESIGNERS: Sia Chang, Grace Guo, Emily Hill and Teresa Pho

Team Wow’s “U Can Make a Difference” campaign targeted its demos through a personal health-themed teaser campaign and a gamified experience in which players navigate an avatar to his or her destination with the help of the Uber Health service. While the game was essentially “rigged” toward the success of the service versus public transportation options, the experience presented the information in a way that interacted with the audiences.

During the online teaser campaign, consumers were invited to share and post personal health-related stories on Twitter and Facebook—platforms chosen for their strength in communication—for a 50 percent discount off their next pre-scheduled Uber ride. The purpose was to familiarize consumers with the pre-scheduling feature, a core component of the Uber Health service. The teaser would also include ads and billboards affixed in public transportation locations throughout San Francisco, this team’s preferred city, such as BART, bus stops, and highway billboards.

The pop-up experience was a two-and-a-half floor, 20-foot by 20-foot installation located in the immediate vicinity of a healthcare conference and in close proximity to the UCSF Medical Center. Participants would first scan a QR code and begin downloading the app while waiting in line, and then enter their name and email to play. Next, an Uber representative would assign an avatar/patient to the participant, whose goal would be to get the patient to their appointment on time. In one-minute intervals, players were let in to the exhibition space to begin the experience.

The game’s first task was helping the patient catch a bus, with various weather and traffic conditions interfering and consistently causing failure. The next portion involved an Uber Health ride, which made it on time, every time. The avatar then transformed into a “real” patient who was projected on a 10-foot wall and shared a video testimonial. Players could learn more by pressing a link in their smartphones.

Next stop, the photo wall. The patient who made it to the appointment on time formed a portion of the “U” in the campaign slogan, creating a connection between healthcare providers and patients. Additional touchpoints included three iPad sign up stations, an Uber Jump bikes competition, light refreshments from Uber Eats and massage chairs.

More information: To stay informed about next year’s program, follow the Brand X Facebook page for announcements.