Embattled ride sharing service Uber is trying a new campaign tied to this Sunday’s Super Bowl XLIX to promote its business. The company will offer On-Demand Dogs in ten different American cities as part of Puppy Bowl XI.
The Puppy Bowl is an event broadcast on Animal Planet which mimics the Super Bowl, but uses dogs instead of people.
Who doesn’t love puppies? If your company has gotten a bad reputation because some of its employees have been accused of rape, what better way to improve your image than to take advantage of cute furry animals?
Last October Uber offered a kitten delivery service as part of National Cat Day.
In a blog post Uber stated, “In preparation for the biggest event in canine sports history, PUPPY BOWL XI, we are teaming up with Animal Planet to deliver adoptable puppies to animal lovers across Atlanta, Baltimore, Cleveland, Dallas, DC, Denver, Indianapolis, LA, Phoenix & Seattle! Break out all the warm fuzzy feelings and get ready to go “awwww” – you’ll get to cheer on Team Ruff and Team Fluff with #UberPuppyBowl and see who will take home the title of top dog!”
A person can get 15 minutes of playing time with a puppy for only $30. The money will be donated to animal humane societies in the participating cities.
The term “Uberization” has been coined to refer to whenever a company copies the Uber business model in offering services. Uber started with taxi services, has now offered dog and cat services, and hopes to expand its business model to offer similar sharing opportunities across many fields.
But not all of the experts are optimistic about this possibility and even see it as an exploitation of people who are desperate for work.
As former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich told the New York Times, “I think it’s nonsense, utter nonsense. This on-demand economy means a work life that is unpredictable, doesn’t pay very well and is terribly insecure.” After interviewing many workers in the on-demand world, Dr. Reich said he has concluded that “most would much rather have good, well-paying, regular jobs.”