Opinion

Winning ways: Maxis ‘safe mode’

Maxis Safe ModeIn the first of a series that looks under the hood of the best work from around the region, we shine a light on ‘Safe Mode’, an idea to curb road accidents in Malaysia for telco Maxis that won for innovation and insight at the Mumbrella Asia Awards.

Mumbrella asked Chan Woei Hern, ECD of Ensemble Malaysia, the agency behind the campaign, about the challenge, the idea, the hardest part, and how he can prove that it worked.

What was the challenge?

Maxis wanted to position itself as a innovative brand and not just a telco. Human-related traffic accidents caused by smartphones are on the rise. As a mobile internet brand, how can Maxis make a difference?

What was the idea?

Put a kid (virtually) in every car to encourage safer driving. How? By creating the world’s first GPS voicepack using kid’s voices to give directions and traffic alerts.

How you can prove that it worked?

1. We launched about the same time as the Terminator voice pack and beat the Governator in terms of downloads. In fact, 1 out of 4 waze users in Malaysia were using Maxis Safe Mode. The voicepack was downloaded 844,100 within 3 months of launch.

2. Waze loved it enough to make Safe Mode available worldwide.

3. Brand health scores for Maxis as an innovative brand increased.

What was the hardest part?

1. The original idea was to have every child script a personal voicepack for their parents. Imagine the impact. Unfortunately that would mean too much back-end reprogramming of the Waze app. We could’ve done a case video featuring a standalone app, but decided to scale the idea in order to really make a difference.

2. Having to learn on-the-go, coordinating between timezones with Waze in Israel on google hangout to create the product, while planning the actual campaign rollout. We’re very thankful that Maxis and Waze really believed in the idea and worked together as partners to make it happen.

If you could do it again, what would you do differently?

We would’ve tried harder to make Safe Mode a more global campaign. When parents from around the world wrote in to ask if their kids could be part of the voicepack, that was when we thought… damn… what if Safe Mode was available in over a hundred languages worldwide? What if we open-sourced the idea to every Waze office in the world?

Campaign credits:

  • Executive Creative Directors – Chan Woei Hern, Mun Tuck Wai
  • Vice President – Sean Wong
  • Creative Team – Norman Tang, Chung Ru Zen, Yves Wan
  • Project Team – Chong Jia Ling, Lim Jia Yang, Chang Min Fung
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