Renault Romania created Google Mats, the first kids’ rugs customized with real maps, that help them learn where to safely cross the street
The project was developed by Publicis Romania and came to life thanks to the auto maker’s constant interest in pedestrian safety, especially that of the most vulnerable ones: kids. Most accidents involving child pedestrians take place close to their homes, when kids are unattended, so the first thing they need to know is where the safe crossings are in their own neighbourhood. But because road safety is a boring, adult topic, a fun approach was needed to appeal to kids. That’s how the agency turned to the popular road rugs, found in kids’ rooms all around the world.
How does it work?
Parents go on the website , choose from 3 original illustration styles and input the kid’s address. A specially designed algorithm automatically replaces the existing Google Maps markers with their illustrated equivalent, creating a miniature version of the neighbourhood, to be printed on a rug. While playing on it with toy cars and figurines together with their parents, kids learn where it’s safe to cross the street around the family home.
The project is being launched with a pilot phase, in which the first Google Mats are given away to users entering a lucky draw, along with miniature Renault cars.