With today’s smartphones, we can send SMS messages, email, WhatsApp messages and more with one keyboard from practically everywhere. There’s one place you should just leave your phone alone however, and that’s behind the wheel. For years now, carriers, car makers and phone manufacturers have tried their hardest to dissuade phone usage behind the wheel while driving and yet it’s still a big problem, with countless people being killed or seriously injured because they take their eyes off the road for a few seconds. No one ad is going to catch people’s approach to using their phones while driving, but this latest one from VW is definitely an eye-opener.
Ad agency Ogilvy Beijing teamed up with Volkswagen to produce some ads for theater-goers in China, and even if the footage isn’t genuine, the ad still remains powerful. The ad starts off nice and simply, with the audience listening to some music playing as a point-of-view shots depicts a quiet drive. What the audience is presumably expecting to be a car ad turns into something more shocking when they all get a text message at the same exact time – thanks to a national broadcast system used backstage. After the message is sent and all the phones go off, the car crashes. This leaves the audience shocked and surprised at the outcome and while it might sound cheesy or cheap, it’s a pretty good way of getting the message across to people that just a glance at your phone can cause a devastating accident.
Wearable technology is perhaps lessening the need to look at your phone while driving, but these too cause concerns. I wear a smartwatch every day and I love it, but I’d be an absolute idiot to stare at it while driving, so I often turn it off while driving. Google’s Glass is obviously the big one, but this isn’t foolproof either, and countries like the UK have already banned the use of it while driving.