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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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “Calling doctor offices takes too much time. If they don't have a patient portal where I can do everything online, I find another doctor. I couldn't find a dermatologist in my area who didn't require several phone calls, so I gave up.” –Female, 30, FL

Mobile devices are the first thing that 80% of Millennials reach for in the morning, and their digital dependence is seeping into more than just wake-up media. 88% have or would deposit a check by snapping a picture of it and 45% would want to pay bills the same way. The camera is the number one most important smartphone feature among this generation, and 33% even think a photo of their driver’s license could be put to good use as a way to enroll in anything from gym memberships to credit cards. (USA Today)

While online dating seems to give Millennials increasing hope of a modern day “happily ever after,” their happiness may be short-lived. Researchers from Stanford and MSU have found that breakups are more prevalent among couples, both married and unmarried, who met online than those who met in more traditional social settings. These stats are credited to simple facts: the mystery and risk of who is behind the other side of screen causes online relationships to take much longer to form into something real. (Jezebel)

To help heighten Millennial traffic, Jack-in-the-Box will feature an instant-win game promotion with prizes ranging from date night movie tickets to a two night VIP experience in Las Vegas. These big ticket offerings will capitalize on the healthy performance of their late-night menu, accounting for 16% of their sales in the first three quarters of this year. The chain has lost its once strong hold on the late-night market, and hopes to regain Millennial consumers with a menu of savory, mash-up items that they may not crave for lunch or dinner but become must haves after dark. (Huffington Post)

Millennial parents are more practical than ever, a trend we explore in-depth in the new edition of Ypulse Quarterly releasing tomorrow. Upcycling used clothing and embracing swaps are the kind of sustainability minded and money-conscious initiatives they support, so it’s no wonder that Kallio, a children’s clothing line made entirely from upcycled men’s shirts, reached its full funding on Kickstarter today.  The Brooklyn-based brand intends to invest in both the clothing line as well as a community workshop to teach sustainable design technique. (Fast Company)

While social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter seem to be dominating for innovative marketing efforts, Facebook still holds steady ground. In a small study of marketing professionals, digital platform Offerpop found that 92% of social marketing budgets will be spent on Facebook this holiday season. The survey from Offerpop also shows that 16% plan to spend money on Snapchat, but finds that 48% are hesitant to invest their budget in untested networks such as Yo and Wanelo. (The Drum)

Every other week we tap into our panel of 150,000+ Millennials in a survey of 1,000 14-32-year-olds to keep our finger on the pulse of trending topics, changing attitudes, and new norms among young consumers. The question library in the My Library tab on Ypulse.com allows Silver and Gold subscribers to see every question we’ve asked and how we’ve asked it for our entire history of bi-weekly surveys, and a search of Ypulse surfaces all the relevant related data that we’ve collected from young consumers. (Ypulse)

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