A New Ad Message: Put Your Cell Phone Down

Chick-fil-ARecently Chick-fil-A launched a novel campaign using pre-printed boxes called “cell phone coops” placed at tables. The idea, known as the “Family Challenge,” is to urge people to put their cell phones in the coop during mealtime and enjoy each other’s company instead of staring at mobile devices.

It’s not yet a national campaign, but already 150 franchises have picked up on the idea. Customers who participate get a free ice cream cone, but the initiative is receiving much attention due to its emphasis on people as opposed to devices.

In an age of apps, social media, text alerts and audience demographics for reaching cell phone users, many companies are taking a step back and discovering there are times when instead one should just take a break from it all. This is especially true for companies urging people to refrain from cell phone use for safety reasons. In addition to public service messages and safety policies, companies like Sentinel (VRM Telematics, LLC) now offer technology for managing cell phone use in moving vehicles.

“Smartphones are great and have changed our lives in plenty of positive ways,” said John McKie, Managing Partner of GodwinGroup. “People everywhere are walking around with access to practically all the information available in the whole world. And it’s carried in their purse or pocket and available whenever it’s needed.

“But as good as all this technology is,” McKie continued, “sometimes people have to put it down before someone you care about gets their feelings hurt, or has a wreck.”

So whether it’s keeping your eyes on the road, or staying tuned in to your friends and family, a little less cell phone can certainly be a good thing.