How Uber creates amazing training videos for their drivers

Short version

There are three powerful ingredients which make great training videos.

  1. Make it modular – Break down down big lessons into small snack ones which are easier to consume
  2. Localize – Reach your audience in a language they understand
  3. Teach by example – Act out situations where this training will be useful. People love stories
Why invest in training?

So why do organizations need this training content?

Let’s put it this way, if you were given a choice to board one of the two planes, one with a trained pilot and the other one with an untrained one. Which one would you choose? Let’s say that the untrained pilot’s flight costs less? Would you now do it? I am sure the answer to that is an affirmative “no”.

Let’s look at the quantitative side of it.

A recent survey indicates that 40 per cent of employees who receive poor job training leave their positions within the first year. They cite the lack of skills training and development as the principal reason for moving on.

Yet many business owners do not recognize the importance of employee training. Yes, you would need to invest in quality content to train your staff but “not investing” in it will actually cost you more.

Probably this board room anecdote best summarizes the lesson. The CFO of a fortune 500 company asks the CEO “Why should we invest so heavily in training our staff? What if they leave?” The CEO replies “What if we don’t train them to do their jobs and … they stay?”.

Before we talk about Uber’s training campaign, let us quickly show you the work we did with them. The first video was produced in collaboration with Singapore team and two below that have been produced in local Indian languages. Around 50 videos in various languages were produced by our teams to help drivers understand good practices while riding for Uber.


training videos
Arpit Mundra

General Manager, Uber


“Birch helped us produce engaging training content for our Partner workforce. We covered aspects like car cleanliness, etiquette training and navigation usage which are essential for delivering 5-star trips”

What was Uber’s campaign objective?

Uber is world’s most valued private company. The company has successfully designed and crafted an unparalleled ride experience which has come to be known as the Uber experience, synonyms with delight, happiness, pleasure.

Though the amount of effort they put into training and educating their driver workforce is staggering. In India alone, Uber has a staff of over 250,000 drivers speaking 8 different languages. Reaching out to them with a well-crafted message in all these languages and variations is a pretty daunting task. The objective of this series of training videos was to make them more savvy, more efficient and resourceful.

This series of 8 videos has helped Uber not only engage their Partners but also send out a message that the company cares for them, their time and productivity.

One of the primary problems in India (and other places in Asia) is limited accuracy of Google maps due to complex road routes. Many Uber drivers were using this as an excuse to not reach pick-up spots. In other cases, drivers had limited knowledge of how Google’s navigation system works and used to call up their riders to ask for detailed directions, which led to frustration. Uber used a real-life scenario to show how this behavior could lead to reduced ratings, and therefore, earnings for their drivers. The goal was to bundle all the information.

In the second scenario, Uber was launching a new app, UberGURU, for its drivers. This app aims to help riders and drivers receive regular updates from Uber about best practices to follow while driving, changes in incentive structures, and inspiring driver stories.

Lessons from this campaign
  • Crisp training videos can help your team grasp complex ideas and visualize processes which can save you a lot of time
  • Using animated content for playing out situations from real life is cost effective
  • Localize your content. Dubbing in local languages increased response rates by 2x
  • Break down important lessons into 2-3 minute story-driven videos rather than one bulky module
Further reading

2 video campaigns that capture PM Narendra Modi’s foreign visits

Building a brand | 10 tips for creating outstanding video ads

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