Why is this work relevant for Brand Experience & Activation ?
KPN exists to help people explore the opportunities provided by technology, and to do so in a responsible way. The rising number of smartphone-related traffic accidents among children triggered us to examine how KPN could shoulder its responsibility for this issue, as a telecom brand.
We set out to develop a solution that would dramatically increase the safety of children, which led us to the idea of the Safe Lock. We then built a campaign around it to engage children on the risks of smartphone distraction and to claim a unique position for KPN as a responsible telecom provider.
Smartphone-related accidents among kids riding their bicycles are a fast-growing problem in the Netherlands. Our brief: to develop an awareness campaign to increase the safety of children on their bicycles and, in doing so, to help KPN claim a unique position as a responsible telecom provider.
In partnership with a neuroscientific research institute, we studied the effects of smartphones on traffic safety among children. The results showed that smartphones present a constant threat of distraction to cycling children - even when they aren’t using them. Kids can’t help being curious, and smartphone notifications demand instant attention.
Current options to block distractions are limited. Solutions such as Apple’s Car Mode or Samsung’s Do Not Distract mode need to be turned on manually, which is easily forgotten, or can be simply switched off, offering an easy way out to a generation that always wants to stay in touch with their friends.
Describe the creative idea
Instead of just an awareness campaign we developed a solution: Safe Lock, a bicycle lock that acts as a binary switch. When the bicycle is unlocked, the KPN cellular and data network is locked, disabling all data and voice communication. When the bicycle is locked back up, the network is unlocked and kids can freely use their phone again. In case of an emergency, the alarm number can always be reached.
To make this possible, we had to enhance the KPN cellular network, enabling it to temporarily block all data and voice communication to a specific smartphone. The lock is very easy to use for kids, as it builds on the existing habit of locking their bike with a similar style O-lock.
Describe the strategy
KPN exists to help people of all ages to explore the opportunities provided by technology, and to do so in a responsible way. The rising number of smartphone-related traffic accidents among children triggered us to examine how KPN could shoulder its responsibility as a telecom brand.
Our aim was to position KPN as a champion of traffic safety by developing a campaign that would go well beyond the world of communications. In order to achieve this, we set out to actively develop a solution that would significantly increase the safety of children. This led to the idea for the Safe Lock. In parallel, we developed a campaign to raise awareness for the issue of smartphone-related distraction and to claim a strong position for KPN as a responsible telecom brand.
Our core target group were kids age 10 to 14 and their parents.
Describe the execution
The solution consists of three parts: the lock itself, a companion app and the enhanced KPN cellular network. The Safe Lock prototype was unveiled in June 2017 and the network has been live since February. The actual product can now be pre-ordered and will be launched, together with the companion app in january 2019.
Our announcement of Safe Lock gained worldwide publicity, with KPN being the world’s first telecom provider to increase traffic safety of its youngest users by blocking their access to the network.
In the wake of the launch we challenged YouTubers to wear EEG scanners and take part in an outlandish traffic safety test while we bombarded them with notifications. These experiments were eagerly replicated and shared. To increase awareness even further, we enlisted Instagram influencers to share the dangers of notifications in their own creative ways.
List the results
The Safe Lock was first presented as a prototype in June 2017. Since then, the lock has been widely reported by both national and international press, including The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Verge, and reached over 10 million people in The Netherlands (a country of only 17 million) and over 180 million people worldwide.
The YouTube videos were watched over one million times and the influencers’ Instagram posts received over 350,000 likes.
Our press release issued an open invitation to telecom providers worldwide, to collaborate with us on the introduction of this solution around the globe. We believe that this innovation can be implemented in a wide range of transportation modes, including cars, and offers a powerful solution to a problem that will become increasingly urgent in the years to come. Especially among young drivers.