Halloween is a time to talk about fears. Fears of all kinds. ŠKODA and Proximity Barcelona take advantage of this moment in time to talk about a little-known fear: Amaxophobia. This is what we call the uncontrollable and paralysing fear that some people feel when they drive or are aware that they have to drive. While almost 30% of drivers in Spain admit feeling fear or anxiety while driving and, in some cases, avoid driving on certain roads or in certain situations, 7% of drivers feel a much more extreme fear which essentially results in the inability to sit behind the wheel. It can cause those affected to abandon driving completely.
The symptoms are clear. Most of the time the phobia manifests itself in a panic attack while you are driving, in the perception of lack of control, or repeated negative thoughts about driving. On a physical level, it manifests with sweating, tachycardia, tremors, stomachaches, or muscular exhaustion.
To raise awareness about the existence of this disorder, ŠKODA and Proximity Barcelona have taken advantage of the context of Halloween to launch an advertisement in the vein of a horror movie along with the Mamma Team production company, under the direction of Galder, and in collaboration with the media agency PHD Media España. The advertisement, which is broadcast in cinemas, TV and online, is just the kick-off of an initiative that, in addition to raising awareness about the problem, wants to help detect new cases, promote the conversation under the hashtag #VenceALaAmaxofobia (#DefeatAmaxophobia), and provide solutions to combat the fear that those who suffer from amaxophobia feel. In order to do this the brand has joined the CEA Foundation of the European Automobile Commission, who specialise in dealing with cases of amaxophobia, among other things.
The initiative has a website
where users can find more information about this phobia, learn about the main symptoms, and even ask for help to overcome it through courses that include therapy with psychologists, and closed-circuit practical sessions to recover a sense of safety and self-confidence behind the wheel. As stated by the CEA Foundation, "to overcome amaxophobia, it is necessary for those affected to become aware of how it affects them, and practice emotional regulation strategies at the wheel via exposure techniques in order to effectively address their fears.” There will be four free courses with limited enrolment in Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao and Seville, all taught by professionals of the CEA Foundation, psychologists, and other experts.
According to Daniel Barro, Communications Director of ŠKODA: "This initiative wants to help those who are unable to drive because of this phobia. We want all drivers to be able to enjoy the sensation of driving as well as the daily experiences that come with being in a car, as reflected in our brand positioning: What’s the point of having a car if it’s not to enjoy it?”
With this project, the brand that has been asking Spaniards for two years “What’s the point of having a car?" aims to help the response to be positive in all cases, and to convey that a vehicle is not only a means to get from one place to another, but also a space where you can enjoy life experiences. After all, for ŠKODA all the best stories start in a car. And it wants to make sure that none of these stories are ever horror stories, not for anyone.
Art Directors: Anna de Mas, Laia Prades
Creative Agency: Proximity Barcelona
Creative Director: Ramón Caba
Creative Supervisor: Anna Soler Chopo, Laura Cuni
Global Chief Creative Officer: Eva Santos