March 3rd marked 100 years since suffragists marched on Washington. Suffragists faced a difficult road in their march towards equality. Even women opposed giving women the right to vote. One letter called it "an endorsement of nagging as a national policy." The "National Policy of Nagging" Pinterest board, created by the National Archives, honors this anniversary.
Today, March 8th, is International Women's Day: a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future. Each year on IWD thousands of events are held throughout the world to inspire women and celebrate achievements. The theme this year is "Inspiring Change."
Take a moment to peruse the International Women’s Day website to learn a little more about the history of this global event, and the good work being done for women worldwide. And every day, try to do your bit to ensure that the future for girls is bright, equal, safe, and rewarding.
“It takes three years to take a vehicle to market,” explained Sheryl Connelly, Global Consumer Trends and Futuring at Ford. ”What most of us don't know is that one of the tools we use to bring it to market is micro-trends.”
“What’s a micro-trend?” we asked. Connelly explained that they have a shorter life than big trends and serve as a more accurate way of determining how people think, act, feel and …spend.
For instance, did you know that worldwide, the average cell phone user checks their phone 150 times a day?
How about this? 62% of adults globally agree that, when people react positively to things they share on social media, they feel better about themselves.
These are just a couple of the hundreds of insights that Ford researched to create the 2nd annual edition of 10 Trends for 2014.
You may ask: what does this have to do with cars? Everything from the way they are designed marketed and priced to (more obviously) the technology.
To follow, five of Ford’s future micro-trends: 1. Female Frontier: On a global basis, women are changing the dialogue around gender roles. With increasing prominence in politics and the work force, women are even changing the rules of marriage and having children. 66% of men and women agree that the world would be a better place if men thought more like women. As Obama said in his recent State of the Union speech, “When women succeed, America succeeds.”
Insights: Take a look around Ford’s corporate structure and you will find women ruling in areas including; technology, marketing, strategy, design and engineering. Ford understands how important it is to have women behind the building of new vehicles. After all, women are over 85% of the buying decisions for cars in the US.
2. Micro-moments: The ADD of wanting to do it all in less time. Media snacking is the word for packing in as much as we can in 24 hours. From two minutes in the grocery store checkout to five minutes between meetings, downtime is disappearing.
Insights: Innovations like Kickstarter ( fundraising), Groupons (deals on everything) and Rent the Runway (leasing designer clothes for as little as $20), are changing the business model. Just six years after launching Ford SYNC, the company has delivered more than 10 million vehicles equipped with the hands-free, voice-activated command system. Among other things, the SYNC system controls mobile phones, digital music players, reads your incoming text messages and can provide audio versions of favorite articles from a host of magazines and newspapers.
3. Old School: Romanticizing how things used to be, we find comfort and connection in brands, craftsmanship, products and experiences that evoke nostalgia. People are looking back to find meaning. 82% of Americans agree that vintage products have more character than new products.
Insights: The Ford Mustang hits 50 in 2014! Since the pony’s reveal in 1964, over 9 million Mustangs have been sold. From the racetrack to movies, music and toys, this popular car has become a noted part of pop culture. The nostalgic Mustang has created such a passionate following that more than 600 Mustang enthusiast clubs exist globally.
4. Sustainability Blues: While going green may protect 30% of the earth’s surface, the other 70% is water. The world is starting to pay more attention to water. For example, Levi launched their Water
Insights: For over a decade, Ford has been committed to decreasing its water footprint by applying water-saving initiatives globally. The company has reduced water usage in everything from cooling towers to parts washing and paint operations, resulting in a 62 percent reduction in global water consumption. This has also saved 10.6 gallons of H2O – that’s enough to fill 16.000 Olympic pools!
5. Fomo/Jomo: The fear of missing out and the joy of missing out: We have unlimited choice of when, where and how we spend our time. Car technologies for connectivity obviously help us stay connected but, truthfully, are we getting too addicted?
Insights: Phantom vibration: We are so accustomed to waiting for vibration (ring-xiety) that it has become a reality. Nearly 90 percent of college grads in a 2012 US study said they felt phantom vibrations. Cell phone stacking (yes, piling your mobiles on the table) is becoming a way to help people ensure an environment free of distraction when they socialize at bars and restaurants. The gig—the first person to pick up their phone picks up the tab for the table!
To keep up with Ford’s Trends on twitter visit #fordtrends
A media ride and drive event in Memphis several years ago left me with some free time in the afternoon before heading to the airport to return home. My colleague and I were wondering how to pass a few hours, when he suggested we visit the Lorraine Motel, the assassination site of Martin Luther King, Jr. which now houses the National Civil Rights Museum. It was an eye-opening afternoon for me: I was raised in Hawthorne, California, in the 1970s, and grew up with the understanding that all us kids were the same -- even though I was a white girl and I was the minority among my own diverse peer group.
More than 40 years ago, on April 4, 1968, the Lorraine Motel was a small minority-owned business in the south end of downtown Memphis. The motel's owner, Walter Lane Bailey preserved two rooms of his hotel as a shrine to Dr. King as well as to his wife, Lorraine, who died of a brain hemorrhage several hours after King was shot. Ultimately, the hotel closed down, and group of prominent Memphians, concerned that the historic site would be destroyed through neglect and indifference, formed the Martin Luther King Memorial Foundation to save the Lorraine.
With support from the City of Memphis, Shelby County, the State of Tennessee, as well as many local banks, businesses, and community members, the National Civil Rights Museum opened its doors to visitors on September 29, 1991, and now houses a 12,800-square-foot exhibit titled "Exploring the Legacy." It also connects to the Main Street Rooming House across the street where James Earl Ray allegedly fired the fatal shot resulting in the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Each year, the National Civil Rights Museum provides a memorial program on Martin Luther King, Jr. day, with an entire day of programs and activities to inspire new generations of leaders to service.
On this day each year, I'm challenged to consider how this holiday is relevant to a woman's automotive site, and I'm reminded of what things were like for black people during the 1960s. I didn't live through the Civil Rights era, so my understanding of racisim and segregation is guided largely by what I learned in history classes, by what I experienced during the Los Angeles Riots of 1992, and by considering the moving exhibits at the museum.
The civil rights laws of the 1960s were intended to prohibit race and gender discrimination in the handful of markets -- employment, housing, and public accommodations -- in which discrimination was perceived to be particularly acute. According to Thomas J. Sugure in his Case Study titled "Driving While Black: The Car and Race Relations in Modern America" I am reminded that issues of transportation were especially significant.
In addition to the cars themselves, auto shows are (in)famously known for the assortment of pretty women on demo stands, their presence intended to attract visitors to the vehicles on display.
The most popular product specialist at this year’s North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) is positioned in the smart booth -- and while she is certainly curvaceous, her loveliness is more apparent in her baby bump than in other physical attributes. In an atmosphere where slim and sexy “booth babes” help sell cars, this booth has its own attraction: a baby on board!
In the “Fifty Shades of Grey,” book trilogy written by E L James, the number fifty describes Christian Grey, a man of many moods, talents, personalities, and vehicles (including jets and yachts).
With all the buzz in the media about the upcoming “Fifty Shades of Grey” movie adaptation, I thought it would be fun to list 25 shades of grays for 25 of my favorite cars. To be sure, most cars do look super sexy in certain shades of silver.
For 364 days each year, we teach our children not to take
candy from strangers. But on Halloween, collecting candy from strangers is the
number one goal. While most parents are careful to inspect the sweet hoard for signs
of malevolent tampering, many public servants and safety organizations agree
that it’s more important to make safe lighting the primary concern on
Did you know? 3rd Annual
National Plug In Day is this weekend, and green car enthusiasts
across the nation will be celebrating the electrification of the automobile
with special events in their area,
as well as at a main event that will be happening in the nation’s
National Plug In day is celebrated this year on Saturday,
September 29th, and is intended to introduce people to the benefits of driving
electric vehicles; highlighting the fun, clean-air benefits, and cost-savings
of electric cars with ride and drives, rallies, tailgate parties, charging-infrastructure
demos, EV-readiness awards, and more.
There's no need to scream! If you see this
truck, Honda will give you free ice cream!
This summer, the SoCal Honda Dealers are helping
SoCal residents in a fun, summer-themed way: by treating them to free ice
cream! All weekend, from Friday August 9 through Sunday August
11th, 2013, the friendly blue Helpful Honda Ice Cream truck will be
out at community events in SoCal treating folks to free ice cream (first come,
first served). And unlike other ice cream trucks, you won’t hear the familiar
jingle as the truck approaches, because Honda will be posting its location on
our Facebook and Twitter pages instead!
Honda sent us photos of the truck so
you can keep an eye out for it. Also, stay tuned at Facebook.com/SoCalHondaDealers
and Twitter.com/HelpfulHonda for more
summer-themed giveaways (and many other helpful events)! In fact, if you pay
attention, you might even discover a chance to win some great premiums like LA
Dodgers and Galaxy gear as well as SoCal Honda polo shirts!
Are you flying your flag today in honor of flag day?
Flag Day is celebrated on June 14 in the United States to commemorate
the adoption of the flag of the United States by resolution of the Second
Continental Congress on that day in 1777. The U.S. Army, founded by Congress in
1775, also celebrates it birthday on this date.
President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation in 1916 to
officially establish June 14 as Flag Day, and while it is not an official federal
holiday, an Act of Congress officially established National Flag Day in August
1949. American citizens are encouraged to fly their Stars & Stripes every
year on June 14.
If you don’t already have one, consider picking up a flag for your car for such special
patriotic occasions. The Fourth of July is just around the corner and Amazon.com
has a large collection of affordable choices that could be delivered in plenty
of time for that holiday.
As Oklahoma residents struggle to rebuild their lives after May’s devastating tornadoes, auto manufacturers are stepping up to provide assistance and donations for relief services. Storms that have swept through the Oklahoma City area have generated two rare EF5 tornadoes -- the strongest storms on Earth -- and significant flooding from heavy rains. Damage from the May 20th Moore tornado may top $2 billion, according to the Associated Press. The May 31st El Reno tornado was the widest ever recorded, according to the National Weather Service. Tragic images show large swaths of damaged or destroyed homes, businesses, schools, and hospitals. Countless cars and trucks were tossed around like toys. More than 50 deaths and 500 injuries have been reported.