Eerie But Clever “Slow Down” GPS App
There’s a new “Slow Down” GPS app that’s very clever but a bit creepy.
Swedish ad agency Forsman & Bodenfors created the Slow Down GPS app for If Insurance. It gives directions in a child’s voice when you drive near schools, day care centers and other areas where there will likely be a lot of children playing outside or crossing the street. The agency says the app is like “a subtle audio sign that says, ‘Children at play,'” according to Adweek.
“We are programmed to care for children, so when you hear a child’s voice, it will have that immediate effect of putting you at mind of looking after children. There’s an association there already,” said Julian Bond, a sound expert and chairman of The Sound Agency.
The app acts like any other satellite navigation system except in areas where there are likely to be children, when it switches to a child’s voice to remind drivers to be more careful. The app is free to download on the App Store and Google Play but only works in Sweden, Finland and Norway. People can flag extra areas where there are likely to be children and get them added to the app by visiting If’s website.
There’s a section of Slow Down GPS’ page on the If Insurance website that asks users to suggest other places where the app should go live. So who knows where the children shall speak soon.
The idea itself certainly spurs awareness and reminds drivers to slow down while driving in areas nears kids. Anything that supports safe driving is a good thing.
I can’t help wondering if the whole idea wouldn’t have worked as well as a simple, well-made TV ad — just no Rugrats, Smurfs or any creatures with high-pitched voices, please.
Howard Davidson Arlington MA