Entries in Volkswagen (1)


Stop Speeding, Win the Lottery: One Man's Idea to Make Safe Driving Fun

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The motivation of a cash prize to the safest drivers is behind a California man's winning entry in The Fun Theory, an advertising contest sponsored by Volkswagen and advertising network DDB Worldwide Communications.

The idea? Put a speed monitor on a busy highway. But instead of simply ticketing the fastest drivers, the monitor would capture an image of the license plates of the drivers who obey the speed limit, then enter them into a lottery.

The winner of the lottery would get a cash prize, paid for with some of the money collected from drivers who were ticketed for going too fast.

"I thought, 'Is there anything you could do to slow people down and change their behavior through fun?'" said Kevin Richardson, the 40-something San Francisco senior games producer for Nickelodeon and Family Games behind the winning Fun Theory idea.

Jeff Swystun, chief communications officer for the New York City-based DDB, said Richardson "embodies what the Fun Theory was all about," calling him "clever" and "earnest."

For winning the contest, Richardson was awarded 2,500 Euros, or about $3,300.

Volkswagen and DDB's Sweden offices, which promoted the project, put out a video showing exactly how effective Richardson's brainchild could be.

The speed monitor was set up in Stockholm for three days in September and recorded 24,857 cars as they drove by. The average speed at the beginning of the project was 32 km/h, or about 19.8 mph. By the end, cars drove by with an average speed of 25 km/h, or about 15.5 mph -- a 22-percent decrease.

"This is a really positive thing: Drive legally and earn money," one driver marveled in Swedish. "Perfect!"

The contest was tied to Volkswagen's promotion of its new Blue Motion Technologies, which puts more environmentally friendly features in the fleet's inner-workings to improve on things like fuel efficiency.

Richardson said he understands his project isn't going to revolutionize life on the road, but hopes at least some will take away his message.

"Of course people are still going to speed. But if it makes more people slow down and there's a positive reason to do it, it's better than always looking out of the corner of your eye and wondering if you're going to get caught," he said. "Focus more on the positive and what results you want, and not the negative."

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