"A simple idea that could save lives: Focus Mode encourages its en route users to dedicate their attention to the road by auto-responding to SMS messages." —juror Dave Curry
"A smart, simple utility that fulfills a very important user need." —juror Scott Prindle
Overview: While 99 percent of drivers believe that texting while driving is "somewhat" or "very dangerous," 17 percent said they still could not resist the temptation. Moving beyond simple prevention, the Société de l'Assurance Automobile du Québec (SAAQ) decided to cut the temptation at its source and deter drivers from using their cell phones while driving. This mobile app for the Android platform blocks all incoming calls and text messages while sending an automatic response advising that the user is presently behind the wheel and will respond once finished driving. The user receives the blocked messages once they've reached their destination.
• The app was aimed at drivers 16-to-24 and professionals who travel frequently due to their work.
• Users can set up alerts to remind themselves to launch the app before driving.
• To promote the application users were urged to use the app to contribute time to a virtual tour of the globe.
Comments by Marilou Aubin:
What was the most challenging aspect of the project? "Our greatest challenge was to create an application that promoted responsible driving without coming across as didactic. So we challenged Internet users in a fun way: to collectively circle the globe. All application-use times were added together and each time the miles were enough to circle the globe, a drawing was held and the prize was for the amount of gas it would take to really circle the globe—$3,750."
How did your relationship with the client evolve over the course of the project? "We're used to creating campaigns for our clients; in this instance, however, we produced a product: the SAAQ’s first Android application. And as design and development take longer with such a project, we established a tight relationship with the client and ultimately partnered in different media initiatives surrounding the launch."