GrabTaxi rebrands and launches regional campaign to push freedom proposition

GrabGrabTaxi, the Southeast Asian vehicle-hailing app, has rebranded, dropping the ‘taxi’ from its name.

In Malaysia, where the company was founded and is known as MyTeksi, the name will also change to Grab, and a brand campaign focusing on outdoor, digital and activation to roll out across the region.

The rebrand is designed to reflect the variety of services that the company offers – private car services, motorbikes, social carpooling, and deliveries as well as taxis.

The bulk of the work, including the logo design, outdoor advertising and digital media, was done inhouse.

Regional marketing director Cheryl Goh told Mumbrella this morning that the rebrand campaign would see Grab move from a functional to a more emotional brand proposition based on the principle of freedom.

A key part of the company’s marketing plans is Grab Freedom Day, where Grab employees will drive a car for a day, giving free rides while supporting accessibility charities.

The initiative kicks off in Philippines today, Singapore and Malaysia tomorrow, Vietnam on 2 February, and Indonesia and Thailand on 3 February.

Grab“What we’re trying to do is move to present more of the emotional side of our business,” said Goh. “We’ve realised that we haven’t been sharing the stories of our people, our drivers, and the challenges they face.”

Grab’s most loyal customers are to receive a letter from the company and a gift, sharing the news of the rebrand and explaining how far the business has come since launching in 2012.

“We want to connect directly with our consumers. Unlike so many rebrands, they’ll be no big TVCs,” said Goh, who has personally featured in Grab’s advertising in the past.

The company chose to keep most of the marketing inhouse because her team wanted to work on the brand themselves, and felt closer to the story, she explained.

Among Grab’s most recent campaigns was an attempt to appeal to younger Malaysians with a video parodying hipsters.

In Singapore at the end of last year, Grab launched the ‘Don’t flag, Grab’ campaign to encourage commuters to ditch the traditional ways of hailing a cab and use their app.

The company apologised in October last year after a digital campaign that used the slogan ‘Love boobs? So does Cancer’ prompted howls of protest in social media for trivialising the disease.


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