Twitter fixes potholes in Panama: What lessons can Sri Lanka learn?

Potholes are a major source of concern for travelers in Sri Lanka, as we have mentioned earlier. In Panama, the problem was so bad that an advertising agency and a TV show worked together for a solution. They placed pressure pads in potholes; whenever a driver hit a pothole, it hit the pressure pad, which in turn tweeted to local authorities about the fact that a pothole needed to be repaired. Take a look yourself:

This is a genius idea and an effective one as well.  The tweeting potholes have been in operation since late May It was reported that 30% of all potholes were attended to as of June 14th. Needless to say, mounting local pressure forced the local authorities in Panama to respond and it appears they have taken necessary action thus far. We could easily see something like this becoming a hit in Sri Lanka, given the abundance of potholes in the country.

Another area which we feel has potential could be carpooling: a large number of vehicles have registered in the last few months as a result of the government offering lower tariffs to vehicles which are under 1000cc, lower petrol prices and improved access to credit at reasonable rates. In this regard, perhaps social media could be used to alert people about possible carpooling opportunities in their local area. We already do it for children via school vans, so perhaps having office vans on a large scale is a possible way to cut down on the ever increasing number of vehicles in the country,

Pivoting to the larger point at hand, we’ve seen social media make waves in Sri Lanka. It has brought upon national attention to important issues such as harassment, corruption and even forced companies to ban some of their ads.  What aspects of transportation in Sri Lanka would you like to see solved by social media? Tell us in the comments!

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VIDEO: Amila Nadeeshani’s Automobile Accident

amila nadeeshani
Amila Nadeeshani gets into an ‘accident’

The accident:

In my last post, I wrote about how we built trust via social media. Today, I’d like to show our latest Youtube video, which has already had over 17000 views (see below). In case you haven’t heard, Sri Lankan actress/singer/entrepreneur Amila Nadeeshani met with an ‘accident’ two weeks ago. Fortunately, she is covered by HNB Assurance.

Positive engagement: From crash to claim settlement

As an organization known for its positive engagement with its customers, we made this video to illustrate how policyholders of HNB Assurance (represented by Ms. Nadeeshani) can breathe easy after a road accident. Look at our employees in the video: the staff member at the call center, the assessor and the garage mechanic. We make dealing with a road accident- from crash to claim settlement, a hassle free experience.

‘What kind of advertising is this?’

This is NOT conventional advertising. These are new methods used by individuals and organizations to raise brand awareness. Think of videos which have gone viral: Gangam Style by PSY, ‘First Kiss’ by clothing company Wren, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, Emma Watson’s UN speech and ‘Happy’ by Pharell Williams, which has led to countless spinoffs such as the one by MAS Linea Aqua. These videos are the future.

So sit back, relax and shake away your Monday blues. This is the first of many videos we are already conjuring. If you like it, do us a favour and leave a comment, or share this among your friends- especially those who would enjoy watching this!

Update: As of Jan 2nd, the number of views has risen to 29000. Thanks for your views!

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Disclaimer: The views shared in this blog are based on the macro economic conditions & industry status quo as per the time of publishing.