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Green Flag / Dr Drive

by Contagious I/O

This story originally appeared on Contagious I/O, our intelligence tool featuring the most creative and effective ideas in marketing from around the world

Insurance brand offers plug-in device to monitor the health of a car

As the cooler winter weather sets in, UK roads become increasingly hazardous. In fact, more than 400,000 breakdowns are expected to take place during November, according to research by breakdown cover provider Green Flag.

To help prevent problems on the road, the insurer is offering a new service that continually monitors whether a car is safe enough to drive. Alert Me provides users with a plug-in device that attaches to the car and monitors the battery and engine management systems. It then communicates with the car owner via SMS or an accompanying app to alert them of any problems.

The device can understand more than 1,000 possible faults. For example, if a warning light comes on Alert Me will tell the user whether it’s safe to continue driving or if they should call a technician. It can also warn them if the battery is about to fail.

Alert Me is only available to customers with Green Flag breakdown cover and costs an additional £35 ($43) a year.

The service is being promoted with online content featuring YouTube star Aaron Crascall and TV personality Psychic Sally, created by London-based agency Frank.

Contagious Insight / 

Smart service / Alert Me is a genuinely useful service. Not only does the app prevent the painful experience of a breakdown, but it enables customers to approach mechanics knowing exactly what needs fixing, saving them time and money. Furthermore, if customers do have a breakdown, the device instantly notifies Green Flag to send help, minimising time spent waiting on the roadside. All this will help Green Flag appeal to new customers and stand out from the competition.

On the road intelligence / Last year, we featured Brazilian startup Nexer that has created a similar device to aid drivers. The OMD-port plug-in effectively makes any car ‘smart’ by communicating with the driver via an accompanying app. As well as performing diagnostics that help vehicle maintenance and safety, Nexer also monitors bad driving behaviour. For example, it can spot habits like too much acceleration, sharp braking and poorly-timed gear changes. This can help users become better drivers and also use fuel more economically.

‘Nexer offers real time analysis on how long the person gets stuck in traffic, how much gas is used when they are stuck in traffic, for how long the car is operating and how long it is not,’ Nexer co-founder Danilo Mattos told us. ‘With all that information the user can make a more informed choice about their car usage and expenses.’

Driver data / While creating a new revenue stream for the brand, Alert Me also gives Green Flag access to valuable data. If enough people adopt the service, it might become possible for the brand to predict when and where breakdowns are likely to happen, helping them act more efficiently. For example, food delivery startup Maple uses data and machine learning to predict what its customers are going to order. The algorithms plot delivery routes, plan the menus, forecast what ingredients to buy and tell the chefs what to cook and when.

 

 

This story originally appeared on Contagious I/O, our intelligence tool featuring the most creative and effective ideas in marketing from around the world. I/O helps anyone in the world of marketing understand why brands are innovating, how they're doing it and with what success.

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