Toyota aims to shame teens into becoming safer drivers

Toyota has created a safety smartphone app that threatens to embarrass teenagers if they speed or use their phones while driving.

The app, created by Saatchi & Saatchi as its last major campaign for the brand, blocks all calls and social media notifications with a "do not disturb" feature that is activated via Google Maps when the car moves faster than 9mph.

The app also syncs both parent and child Spotify accounts. When the young driver touches their phone or exceeds the designated speed limit when driving, the music they are playing through Spotify will suddenly cut out and their parents’ playlist will kick in instead. 

Only once the driver stops interacting with their phone or returns to within the speed limit will their own music return. At the end of the drive, both parent and child are provided with a drive summary on the app. 

Research by road safety charity Brake shows young drivers are at a much higher risk of crashing than older drivers and one in four 18- to 24-year-olds crash within two years of passing their driving test.

Toyota consolidated its European advertising and media accounts into The & Partnership without a pitch last year. The creative account is still in transition and a Saatchi & Saatchi spokeswoman confirmed it is the agency’s last major campaign for the car-maker. 

The "Safe and Sound" campaign was written by Victor Morón and Alex Sattlecker, and art directed by Jose Hernandez and Linda Weitgasser at Saatchi & Saatchi London. The online film was directed by Kirkland & Rafalat through Rumble. 

Dario Giustini, Toyota Motor Europe’s senior manager, brand and communications, said: "We have a safety-first approach globally and it is our mission to one day eliminate all road accidents. Because we truly believe in safety as a company, we decided to actually do something about it.

"The Safe and Sound app will hopefully help to raise awareness, especially among young drivers, about the dangers of improper mobile phone use in the car. This app is not just available for Toyota drivers but for anyone and everyone on the roads."