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Moviegoers Thrust Into Harsh Texting-And-Driving PSA

Moviegoers Thrust Into Harsh Texting-And-Driving PSA
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Theater patrons in Hong Kong were surprised with an interactive feature by Volkswagen.

Kiran Umapathy
  • 12 june 2014

Spectators at an MCL Cinema in Hong Kong were recently surprised by a Volkswagen PSA named Eyes on the Road about the consequences of texting and driving. Only this time, it was interactive.

The theater experience started out like any other with patrons filing in and taking their seats, snacks in hand. Advertisements and previews played before the feature presentation. Then, one ad started with a scene inside of the vehicle of the driver starting the engine, turning on the radio and driving through the countryside.

Behind the scenes, a crew used a location-based broadcaster to screen all mobile devices in the theater and timed a mass text to be sent out to moviegoers who had their phones on. The crew sent the text and just as everyone pulled out their phones, a sudden tire screech and jarring crash occurred on screen. Shortly after, the PSA informed the audience that mobile use is the leading cause of death behind the wheel and a reminder to keep their eyes on the road.

It’s unclear whether the stunt was scripted with actors and whether the claim of texting as a leading cause of death is accurate, but the US Department of Transportation reports as many as 1.6 million accidents involve cell phone distraction each year. That statistic would suggest it is becoming a major problem around the world and it’s nice to see Volkswagen take a creative approach to get its message across. Whether fear-based PSAs like this can be behavior-changing remains to be seen, but it’s worth a shot and shows the carmaker is staying on top of its game.

[h/t] Design Taxi, Gizmodo

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