GTB BRASIL, Sao Paulo / FORD / 2019
In Brazil, there are 46 million people with some type of disability. 7% of them have a motor disability. Despite a wheelchair user being capable of driving an adapted car, when they go to the streets, they must face the overwhelming lack of accessibility, even in the main cities.
For a long time Ford brand strategy have being based on the idea of promoting mobility and helping people moving freely. The Accessibility Mat came to transform these beliefs into a tangible piece. A piece that can help people moving freely, even when they are outside of a Ford car.
They can move more and explore more the city they live. A message that “Go Further” is not only a slogan, but a brand commitment.
It is a car mat redesigned to work as a portable accessibility tool for disabled drivers. A piece of design, made of a very light and resistant material, created from a part that already exists inside the car, the trunk mat. The driver just needs to get the Mat in the trunk, fold it, put in the back of their wheelchair and use it whenever they need to.
The Mat also has sensors and a microprocessor that sends Bluetooth signals to the wheelchair user’s mobile phone and an app with a map point the exactly place it was used. That way we create a precious databank that we can share with local authorities in order to help building accessible cities.
Ford Ecosport was chosen for this project because it is the best-selling Ford vehicle for disabled drivers.
The idea was to launch the new prototype in different channels in order to promote a huge conversation about the subject and collect the more opinions and feedback we could.
The live events were important to allow our main target, disabled people, got in contact and test the Mat. They could do this in live events like the 30th São Paulo International Auto Show and the Campus Party.
Online we could increase the conversation with the whole target, talking with disabled drivers, accessibility enthusiastic, technology lovers and car fans.
During the whole process of execution, all prototypes created have passed through different kind of tests to approve its capability. Wheelchair users have participated since the beginning of the project, testing and giving insights. Billy and Michele were the most important partners.
The Accessibility Mat was launched on 23 October 2018, in a Ford event exclusive for media and partners. At the same time, we launched an online film at Fords pages on Youtube and Facebook.
After this we promoted the Mat in live events like the 30th Sao Paulo International Auto Show and the Brazilian Campus Party.
A film was produced to present the project to the public and it was promoted on Ford’s website, Facebook and Youtube. More than 50 million people were impacted and the campaign had more than 17 million earned media.
It started a precious conversation online, so we could collect a huge amount of data with different opinions, ideas and feedbacks about the prototype.
It also promoted a debate about accessibility and equality of opportunities in the media, even Brazil’s president himself, Michel Temer, paid a visit to Ford’s stand at the 30th Sao Paulo International Auto Show to understand better about the Accessibility Mat.