Audi Wrote a Script for Websites to Install to Block Visitors Who Are Driving

Åkestam Holst takes novel approach for a spin

Do you visit websites on your smartphone while you drive? Hey … are you driving and surfing the internet right now?!

If so, knock it off! Your chances of having an accident triple when you engage in such stupidity. And four out of five drivers admit to making this jackass move.

Such statistics prompted Audi and Swedish agency Åkestam Holst to create a safety campaign that takes a refreshingly direct route to reach folks who choose to go online with one hand while steering with the other.

Instead of crafting a 30-second commercial with twisted metal and gallons of blood—these can be effective, but also easily ignored—the team developed a free snippet of computer code for website scripts. The Audi Safety Code, which any website can add, analyzes GPS data to determine if visitors are in vehicles traveling over 20 kilometers an hour (about 12.4 miles an hour), and blocks site access until users confirm they are passengers and not drivers.

“The idea of having an app that blocks the phone when you’re driving is nothing new per se,” says Rickard Beskow, a copywriter at Åkestam Holst, which was recently named Adweek’s International Agency of the Year for 2017. “The problem is that few drivers activate or even download that kind of app. This initiative gives developers and website hosts the possibility to make a difference instead.”

So far, the code has been implemented on Audi.se, with sites in the automaker’s other local markets to follow, as well as by Aftonbladet.se, a popular news portal.

Sure, it’s simple for distracted drivers to lie and gain site access. Still, Beskow believes delivering the message in this memorable fashion—and reinforcing what folks should and shouldn’t do while they are actually driving—could ultimately pay off.

“Yes,” says Beskow, “you can lie about not being the driver. But maybe, at some point, you will realize that what you are actually lying about is your own and others’ safety on the road.”

CREDITS
Client: Audi
Agency: Åkestam Holst, Stockholm, Sweden
Creative Director: Magnus Jakobsson
Art Directors: Michal Sitkiewicz, Eva Wallmark, Jeremy Phang
Copywriters: Rickard Beskow, Kalle Åkestam
Account Director: Lina Engler
Account Manager: Jenny Strinnhed
Digital Producer: Johan Eklund
Planner: Simon Stefansson
Producer: Henrik Adenskog
Motion Designer: Eskil Lundberg
Photo: Nisse Axman
PR Director: Ida Persson

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