Taxi takes a stand against potholes

The agency's Montreal office has created an iPhone app that acts as a warning system for drivers.

Nobody likes a pothole, and the folks at Taxi are doing something about it. At press time over 3,500 potholes had been reported across Canada using an iPhone app that acts as a warning system for drivers, created by the agency’s Montreal office.

The Pothole Season app and accompanying website work like this: when a driver/pedestrian notices a treacherous pothole on a road anywhere in Canada, they can log in and flag the hazard using Google Maps and Street View. Municipal authorities are then alerted via email with a request to investigate.

To promote the app, the agency enlisted Morin Relations Publique to orchestrate an elaborate stunt that involved tipping a car into an extra large man-made pothole in Montreal, which resulted in major media buzz, with coverage in outlets across Quebec and the rest of Canada, including the Montreal Gazette, Global TV, Metro and the Huffington Post.

Dominique Trudeau, ECD, Taxi, says that the app was created by the agency as a “gift to Canadians,” and that further promotion included a quarter page ad in La Presse, as well as ads in the Zoom Media network in Toronto and Montreal, planned by Media Experts.

Cleary, Canadians have gotten on board with the idea, as the app saw 6,000 downloads on the day of the launch, and it was the number one app in the App Store in the “free utilities” category.

In addition to being able to check the current state of the roads, app users are provided with a roster of global and Canadian stats and suggested routes to help avoid the holes that jar their journey.

With files from Emily Wexler