OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – April 2, 2013 – As one of the most recognizable names in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Dale Earnhardt Jr. knows the risks of being distracted while driving. Now, throughout the distracted driving month of April, he’s lending his expertise in a new TV ad by Sprint (NYSE: S) to educate drivers about the Sprint Drive First app which helps drivers avoid the distraction of texting while driving.
The 30-second ad, created by Sprint and its agency, Team Sprint – Digitas and Leo Burnett – features Earnhardt using the Sprint Drive First™ mobile application, which can block and send automatic replies to text messages while you drive. The overarching message is that driving isn’t the problem, and texting isn’t the problem; "and" is the problem – as in texting "and" driving – and we all can live without the "and." To help remove the temptation to drive and text at the same time, the Sprint Drive First app is offered as a solution.
The ad features Earnhardt Jr. with two members of his crew in the garage at a track. One of them says, "Hey Dale, I got your text that said you couldn’t text." Then the other says, "Wait. What? Why would he text that he couldn’t text?" Earnhardt replies: "I was driving." Which ignites a discussion about how and why a text is sent when the person who sends the text doesn’t actually send it – all of which refers to the Sprint Drive First app and how it sends reply text messages while someone is driving.
An additional video will be shown at the Sprint Unlimited Experience at tracks each weekend throughout the season where they can interact with Earnhardt Jr. by texting his number. The video features Earnhardt Jr. at a Sprint Unlimited Experience race simulator where he talks about how driving in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series takes laser-like focus. He invites fans to try and distract him with a text as he gets into the simulator and sets his phone down at his side as the simulated race begins.
Throughout April, fans who sign up to receive information from Sprint at the Sprint Unlimited Experience or online at www.Sprint.com/drive will receive a special Earnhardt Jr. poster that includes Sprint Drive First information, and fans who sign the Focus on Driving pledge will receive a bumper magnet.
Sprint Drive First
The Sprint Drive First application locks an Android mobile phone when the phone’s GPS detects motion above 10 miles per hour. Sprint Drive First can direct incoming calls to voice mail and silences distracting alerts. A customizable auto-response can be sent to all text messages, which are held until the driver comes to a stop.
Sprint Drive First is available on Sprint Android-powered smartphones for $2 per month per phone (excluding surcharges and taxes). Sprint customers can sign up and receive a 15-day free trial by downloading the app from Google Play or visiting sprint.com/drive. Sprint Drive First is also part of Sprint Guardian, a bundle of safety- and security-oriented services for families. Sprint Guardian also includes Sprint Mobile Controls, Sprint Family Locator and Lookout Family Mobile Security.