Can The Auto Industry Help Drive The Anti-Texting-While-Driving Message?

Fordsync-b1Last week in Essentials we cited a piece from Wired on the issues surrounding texting while driving as discussed at a Senate hearing last Wednesday by senators, the Department of Transportations and the FCC. From the article:

At issue is the Distracted Driving Prevention Act of 2009 (.pdf) that Sens. Jay Rockefeller (D-West Virginia) and Frank Lautenberg (D-New Jersey) introduced Wednesday that seeks to ban texting while driving, a category that includes using a PDA, checking e-mail on a BlackBerry or manipulating a GPS unit with your hand. The bill (S. 1938) also targets drivers who make calls without using a headset. Texting or calling while pulled over on the side of the road is fine, but not while at a red light.

It got me to thinking about the difficult position of the auto industry in all of this with the increasing pressure to combat Gen Y’s cooled attitude towards cars by staying technologically relevant. Young drivers, after all, are a fair market to target with all different types of technological add-ons, whether it be safety or information related like Ford’s recent Sync platform designed by college students or the more entertainment-driven approach of the Nissan Cube which was described by a member of the marketing team as another one of the young owner’s “essential mobile devices”  to be used for “connecting with friends, sharing music and sharing fun.”

It’s a tough line for these carmakers to walk between maintaining a hip, tech-friendly youthful image and enabling risky on-the-road behaviors like texting, using a GPS system and/or fiddling with an iPod. And even though more opportunities to plug in on the road may compound the issue, the root of the problem still remains in the cultural norm we’ve created and condoned as a society, less than with the automakers and cell…

 
 
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Quote of the Day: Q: Is there anything you have cut out of your life (or something you’d like to cut out) just because it takes up too much time? What is it? A: “School takes up a lot of time. I'm learning stuff that I can't use in real life.” –Female, 22, NY

Over the weekend, news that nude photos of several actresses, including Jennifer Lawrence, had been released thanks to a hacker set the internet ablaze. But the reactions to the photos, including this trending BuzzFeed post suggesting that readers “not [be] scandalized at all,” reflect our predictions of the end of scandal as we know it for Millennials. A group that has grown up accustomed to having digital skeletons in their closets is increasingly reacting to “scandals” from leaked photos to drunken arrests with a resounding, “Whatever.” (BuzzFeed)

Paramount is tapping into the social anonymity trend to promote the upcoming Men, Women & Children, and attract young consumersThe trailer directs viewers to Whisper, where they’re being invited to share secrets under the hashtag #MWC and the movie’s tag will be featured as the Whisper of the day. The film follows a group of teens and their parents, focusing on the ways their online lives change their offline relationships. (Mashable)

Urban Outfitter’s disappointing sales point to an “obvious loss of cultural clout” with young consumers, and could be traced back to several PR “disasters,” including tee shirts printed with offensive designs, several products that were deemed derogatory to Native Americans, and the company president’s donations to conservative Rick Santorum, all of which do not appeal to liberal minded and politically correct Millennials. The brand has also lost its fashion clout and has more competition from affordable brands like Forever 21 and H&M. (Adweek)

New research by Eventbrite claims that one in five Millennials attended a music festival in the past year, and that festivals are “one of young Americans’ favorite pastimes.” The study scanned social media conversations from the last year and found that South by Southwest was the most-discussed festival, and EDM fests made up eight of the top 25 most talked about events. Ypulse’s own bi-weekly survey found that 31% of 14-29-year-olds planned to go to a music festival in 2013. (Quartz)

Millennials have a different approach to buying food than previous generations, and they are changing the way that grocery shopping is done. These foodies are more likely to plan their shopping around a specific recipe they’re planning to cook, to buy ingredients the same day they’re preparing a meal, and look for minimally processed and locally grown food and beverages. Their preferences put pressure on big-box stores and traditional groceries who need to adapt to attract the new generation of shopper. (Washington Post)

We don’t just deliver data. Along with our bi-weekly survey result data files, we provide our Gold subscribers with a topline report that synthesizes hand-picked, illuminating data points and our insights and expertise. Interesting differences between males and females, older and younger Millennials, ethnicities, and more are highlighted, and relevant statistics are streamlined into an easily consumed, concise, visual takeaway. (Ypulse)

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