Ford Trucks is a traditional brand in Brazil, holding a solid relationship with truck drivers through its extensive product portfolio. However, the brand still presented a lack of emotional connection with them, being perceived as a functional truck manufacturer.
Over the last years, Ford has focused on changing this scenario by strengthening the bond with customers. The challenge was to enhance their overall experience with the brand, evolving from a manufacturing company to a daily service provider.
Ford's priority was to connect with topics which really mattered to them, developing a robust repositioning plan focused on customer overall experience, launching the platform: non stop products and services.
Throughout this process, we conducted several researches in order to understand the main problems affecting our audience.
We discovered an issue: They feel at risk on the road, with truck accidents causing 30% of all accidents and 7 deaths per day. Most of these accidents were a result of a common complaint: the drowsiness caused by the trucker's exhausting journey.
Our strategy was built around a clear message: Our customers come first and we care about them. In order to deliver this proposition, it was necessary to deeply understand the main needs of Brazilian truck drivers, so we could draw an effective solution that could really solve a big issue in their lives. Therefore, we conducted both quantitative and qualitative research as a means to learn the difficulties experienced by this group.
According to the National Roadside Transport Agency, there are 661,441 autonomous truck drivers and 1,108,122 companies and transport cooperatives in the country, with about 2 million truck drivers working on the roads. According to the National Confederation of Transport, among the main complaints of this group are the danger and insecurity on the roads (60.6%), and the fact that the profession was very exhausting (34%).
No wonder, the Brazilian Atlas of Accidents indicated that more than 7 people died each day from truck accidents, accounting for 30% of all road accidents. The main cause of these accidents were well known, and pointed out by the truck drivers and fleet owners in more than one hundred interviews conducted in the entire country: the drowsiness caused by the trucker's exhausting journey. How could Ford minimize this problem and offer a helping hand that could make a difference in their lives?
That was a problem that no one had tried to solve and Ford could find a way to enhance truck drivers' lives following their new posture in front of their customers. In order to make this real, it was necessary to go beyond communication and create something that really could change this reality.
Our solution was combining Health Experts Consultancy with Strategic and Creative Minds to develop a “safe cap”, alerting drivers when they were starting to get tired, allowing them to stop driving and rest before an accident could happen.
Once we had a defined problem to solve, we looked for experts to help us develop a solution. The first expert consulted was the PhD Dra Lia Bittencourt from the National Institute of Sleep, the main organization focused on sleep related studies. Together, we identified all the truck body movements that could indicate that they were getting tired, so we would know when they were about to suffer an accident caused by fatigue and how to avoid this from happening.
The creative solution developed by us was a prototype, a technological cap that alerted the truck driver when he moved his head in a characteristic way of fatigue and sleep, telling him when to stop and rest. Equipped with an accelerometer, a gyroscope, a light and a sound system, we created a wearable cap from a common accessory of truck drivers, turning it into a safety device that alerted the truck driver with bright lights, vibrations and sound when they were starting to get dangerously tired, allowing them to stop and rest before an accident could occur.
The launch of Safe Cap took place during the opening of FENATRAN 2017, the largest international truck fair in Latin America.
This communication product was communicated in every possible way, integrated with Ford Truck's PR strategy, Social Media content and special interactions, content and a website to capture those interested in the prototype.