Put on those boots, strap on that saddle and Grab yourself a free horseback ride in the Philippines this weekend
The ride-sharing economy is disrupting yet another industry. It seems conquering private cars, taxis, limousines, motorbikes and even helicopters was not enough to quell the thirst to dominate in another vertical.
Grab has gone so far as to pinpoint a 19th century vehicle of transportation overlooked by the likes of Uber, Didi Chuxing and Ola.
No, Grab users cannot order an on-demand steam engine. But, for one weekend in the Philippine city of Baguio, they will be able to hail a horse to trot them around the city.
Yes, that’s right. A horse.
Oh, and did we mention GrabHorse is free?
The marketing ploy coincides with the city’s annual Panagbenga flower festival in February in which the community performs street dances, builds parade floats covered in flowers, promotes tourism and educates the younger generation about their cultural heritage; including the Ibaloi dance in which people dress in traditional tribal wear and dance to the beat of a small gong.
Between 8AM to noon and 2PM to 6PM from February 26-28 users in the Wright Park, Mines View, The Mansion and Pacdal area of the city will be able play cowboy in Baguio.
One important note: the pick-off and drop-off location must be the same, so it is more of a fun activity rather than an actual means to get from point A to point B. This kind of makes sense as taking a horse to work, and then just leaving it there, does not seem like the most sustainable of business models.
However, the seemingly innocuous idea has not gone without controversy. After Grab posted the advertisement of Facebook, netizens criticised the company by calling the event ‘barbaric’ or ‘backwards’ and bringing up concerns of animal cruelty.
In response, Grab has dismissed the concerns by responding to individual comments with the following PR statement:
“Campaigns like these are meant to promote the local cultures of the cities we are in. I’m sorry that you feel that way but we made sure no animals will be harmed with this campaign. We also made sure that this partnership will help the animal’s living situation. Thank you.”
Panagbenga has an interesting history. Spawned out of a devastating earthquake in 1990 (Luzon Earthquake) that killed over 1,600 people, the flowers were a symbol for the city’s strength as it worked to rebuild after the natural disaster.
Now, it serves as a cultural attraction for a city that rejects government tourism agendas due to fears it will trample the city’s culture — thus, the effort to educate the younger generations.
In terms of marketing campaigns, this has to be a nine out of ten. We just deducted a point because everyone knows donkeys are better than horses.
The post Clip-clop, clip-clop: The Philippines to have a taste of Wild West with GrabHorse appeared first on e27.
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