Uber’s new ad started off pretty normal.
The 54-second spot, which debuted on St. Patrick’s Day, features rapper Sam Lachow making plans for a night out with friends. Lachow, who was raised in Seattle, talks about how he loves using Uber and notes that “driving under the influence is never even an option with Uber.” In a blog post also published on Tuesday, Uber touted how it helps reduce drunk driving.
But there was a brief moment in the YouTube clip that caught my attention. Watch the video below from the 27-second mark until about 34 seconds.
You notice that? The fist-bump. Like, Lyft’s fist-bump.
Lyft, which just raised $530 million and is Uber’s biggest rival in the on-demand transportation space, had made fist-bumping a huge part of its ride experience since launching in 2012. Drivers were trained to greet passengers with a fist-bump in hopes of creating a more comfortable and social vibe inside the car.
In fact, it became such a fundamental part of Lyft’s brand that Uber paid for Facebook ads in January 2014 that featured two people fist-bumping and the phrase, “don’t pay a premium to fist bump.”
However, in November of last year, Lyft began cutting back on its unique characteristics like the fist-pump and the pink mustache required for every driver’s car. The company told drivers that fist-pumping was no longer a necessary requirement. “Simple hellos are OK,” Lyft told its independent contractors.
Perhaps this is an over-analyzation of an innocent moment in Uber’s new advertisement. An Uber spokesperson said that there was no particular reason for Lachow’s fist-bump.
But given that Lyft is dumbing down its own fist bumping, combined with the anti-fist-bump ad that Uber ran last year, it was just a little odd seeing this in an Uber commercial.