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: “For Halloween I’m dressing up as Erlich Bachman from the HBO show Silicon Valley.”—Male, 24, IN

Time has released their annual list of the 30 most influential teens. This year’s cut was chosen by “global impact through social media and overall ability to drive news,” and ranges from the dancing 14-year-old made famous from Dance Moms and Sia’s latest music videos, Maddie Ziegler, to 16-year-old founder of a high-end lacrosse equipment company, Rachel Zietz, to 17-year-old poster child “in America’s culture war over LGBT rights,” Gavin Grimm. Also making the list is 17-year-old app developer Ben Pasternak, who we spoke to earlier in the year. (TIME

The Uber for orchestras is aiming to get Millennials hooked on the classics. Groupmuse is a service that hires “young classical musicians to play small concerts in living rooms across the country.” Consisting of two 25-minute sets, the combinations of music can span a wide range: “We’ve had Dvorak and then string quartet arrangements of Guns and Roses.” The founder, Sam Bodkin, blames “steep entrance cost[s] to stuffy symphony halls” and the association that classical music is “boring,” for the lack of interest in Millennials. 70% of Groupmuse’s users were born in 1980s and ‘90s, and Bodkin has plans to partner with other classical music institutions to further spread interest. (WIRED)

Millennials are abandoning ship on shows that are just too hard to watch. A new study from TiVo found that more than half of Millennials have stopped watching a show because it was too “burdensome to access — i.e. not enough episodes were available to catch up on, episodes were behind a paywall or moved platforms,” or other obstacles. 91% of Millennials have active subscriptions to at least one streaming service, and their easy access to content has turned them off to the idea of having to put in effort to watch a show, especially when they think: “There are four other shows I can go watch right now.” (Variety

A brewer is targeting young and curious drinkers with an Instagram campaign that is the first of its kind. London brewer Fuller’s has strategically placed “blank” outdoor posters that encourage the viewer to take an Instagram and use filters to find hidden messages. The #FindFlavour campaign is promoting Fuller’s Frontier craft lager, and is backed by the insight that “social beer drinking is dominating across platforms, with fans sharing experiences, love of flavour and designs.” Participants who snap and hashtag their hidden message will get the chance to win movie tickets or free beers. (Morning Advertiser

A new augmented reality game is making little entrepreneurs out of kids. Osmo Pizza Co. uses an iPad camera and a simple mirror to mimic the experience of running a pizza shop for five to 12-year-olds. Players use physical objects to create pizza orders and exchange currency, that the iPad picks up on and translates into the game. They can also use their profits to upgrade their shop and level up. The game teaches math and emotional intelligence, as well as two important aspects of startups: making the consumer happy and growing a company by reinvesting money earned. (VentureBeat

Quote of the Day: “I would want anyone that is not named Clinton or Trump to be the next president.”—Male, 23, NY

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