Schools are resuming in Belgium this week, and after such a long break this year, many parents may be keener than ever to get back to being able to work without interruption. But Volvo has been imploring parents to be "late for work" on the first day back as part of a road safety initiative.
Citing a survey on national road safety by the Vias Institute, which showed that stress of bringing kids to school and trying to be on time for a meeting is a major cause of reckless driving and accidents, the company encouraged companies to sign up to allow their employees to arrive late for work on September 1.
According to a survey by Volvo, 40 percent of Belgian parents say they feel stressed, and 25 percent even feel anxious, at the start of the school year. And according to the Vias research, 44 percent of accidents occur during the key school commute time of 7am to 9am.
A series of social media and out-of-home ads by agency Famous Grey focuses on a series of kids, shot by Belgian photographer Frieke Janssens, telling their parents to please be late, in order to keep them safe. There was also PR and influencer activity and the brand created a landing page where companies could sign up to the initiative. More than 20 companies, including Deutsche Bank, telecom company Proximus, Nomad Food, JCDecaux and Mindshare all took part.
All Belgian schools have gone back physically this week but according to Peter Ampe, creative director at Famous Grey, another issue could be that many parents are avoiding school bus services because of Covid-19. Meanwhile, while some parents are still working from home, being late for a virtual meeting can still be an issue, he adds.