Uber gets sentimental with time-hopping ad showing Singapore’s Gillman Barracks

Ride-hailing app Uber has turned the nostalgia sentiment up to 11 with its latest campaign film released in Singapore.

In a new two-minute video created by BBH Singapore, Uber shows a retired lieutenant general revisiting his former National Service station Gillman Barracks, a former British Army base.

As the old man, whose life story is based on that of Singapore veteran Albel Singh, takes an Uber to the former barracks, the film flashes back to his military training 40 years ago.

His story is intertwined with a young boy in the present day who is bullied by his peers for making artwork out of straws. Following this, the boy’s mother takes him – via Uber of course – to Gillman Barracks, which became an art centre in 2012. As fate would have it, the boy then bumps into the retired veteran as a another sequence of flashbacks – and flash-forwards – ensues.

Entitled ‘‘Where’ is more than just a place’, the film was released on YouTube, Facebook and in Singapore cinemas last week, and will form part of a series exploring “special” places in Singapore.

BBH creative director Gaston Soto said: “The film gave us room to tell an emotional story and explore the different meanings brought to a place by different people. This is so acutely felt in Singapore, where places are constantly evolving and every street, lane and corner may hold a different memory or signify a new opportunity across generations.”

The rose-tinted video marks a stark contrast to Uber’s most recent campaign to recruit drivers in Singapore. The more light-hearted effort showed comedian Rishi Budhrani trying and failing  to find his ideal job – only then to realise his dream role was becoming an Uber driver.

Meanwhile, Uber’s most recent outdoor campaign in Singapore was recently panned for encouraging commuters to have sedentary and lazy lifestyle by taking its cabs to work. 


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella Asia newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing