Looking out of the car window used to be what kids did on road trips--but now, screens mean that they barely glance outside sometimes. Volkswagen has decided to counteract this with an interactive solution which, while it still relies on an app, means that kids are more connected with their journey.
"Road Tales," developed by Dutch agency Achtung McGarrybowen, is an app featuring interactive audiobooks that creates unique tales based on the location of the user and transform ordinary road objects into characters in a story. To make this happen, the Amsterdam based agency scanned all major Dutch highways (over 5000 km of road) to identify objects like bridges, windmills, trees, petrol stations and turn them into story elements. It collaborated with children's book writers to write the story chapters, which are triggered by objects along the road.
The whole family can use the books, explains creative director Kika Douglas: "Parents can play the story through the sound system of the car and then put the phone away. The characters of the story also ask the passengers to play family games, like guessing a color of the next car or doing a countdown to launch a rocket before entering the tunnel, or warning them to put their head down before going under a bridge."
Developed for Dutch children between 4-11 years old, the app can be downloaded for free. It's being promoted to parents via a social campaign, influencer strategy and online video.