It is increasingly important for Brands to play a part in bettering the social ecosystem in which they operate and make their money. Only through such actions will consumers give priority to such Brands in their consideration set. You’d expect such actions to be taken by packaged goods companies that play a role in consumer health. Initiatives from the likes of Coca-Cola, Unilever, and others are therefore not surprising. However, we are seeing a lot more surprising categories like coffee companies (see Kenco coffee program here). For this blog post I will talk about another surprising industry that is pursuing this “improving its social ecosystem” trend – the automotive industry.
There are two car brands that are looking to improve road safety, not by improving the safety features of their cars (which they are likely doing anyway), but by changing peoples’ behaviours around and with cars. As such they are influencing the social ecosystem around the automobile.
Smart Car in Germany was looking to tackle a leading cause of road accidents – pedestrians ignoring pedestrian traffic signs. The way that they approached the problem was by changing the actual road crossing signal to make it more entertaining. By doing this they turned a very routine and forgettable experience into a novel one (a bit like VW’s Fun Theory approached everyday experiences). Have a look.
Nissan in Dubai decided to tackle road safety by getting people to seriously think about stopping to text while driving. In Dubai a leading cause of accidents is due to texting while driving. So Nissan decided to show the outcome of such actions in the most unexpected and shocking way – by creating huge sculptures of texting icons such LOL, BRB, etc. from accident car parts. They then placed these sculptures in universities (a place frequented by a large number of the text-and-drive culprits). Have a look.