Max the Badger, the cute provider of tips and tricks in road traffic, is celebrating his tenth birthday. A nice moment to look back on his life. And of course for presents too! On Max's birthday, there's a cool app for all his fans.
Children, how time flies! Once a tiny baby, he's now sooo big... Most parents know this feeling. And now it's time for us at AXA to experience it too. After all, it seems like only yesterday that the Dutch illustrator Hans de Beer, who also created the tiny polar bear Lars, did a quick, first pencil sketch of our cute mascot Max the Badger – it was the birth of our Max! Today, Max has already been teaching children how to behave in road traffic for the past ten years on behalf of the AXA Foundation for Prevention. And he does his job – now in color, sometimes in the flesh, and now for the first time in 3D – not only bravely, but successfully too. For us, it's the right moment to take a look back and indulge in our memories while Max is preparing to hand over his official birthday gift to you – and especially to your children.
In September 2009 Hans de Beer sends his first drawings of Max the Badger to Switzerland. And now we're going to reveal a secret that's just a little embarrassing to Max today. At that time, when he was still very small, he was known as Daxli (little badger). And that's a true story!
A book fully illustrated by Hans de Beer entitled "Mit Max sicher unterwegs im Strassverkehr" ("Safe underway in road traffic with Max") is published. With colorful, lively pictures (and few words), the story tells how Max the Badger accompanies his friends Luca and Laura across town to the big forest party, teaching them the right way to behave in road traffic as they go. To date, around 15,000 copies of the book have been printed in three editions. Max the Badger and his traffic knowledge are therefore at home in many a Swiss child's bedroom.
The helpful badger inspires the children's songmaker Bruno Hächler to write a catchy song: "S Lied vom Max" (Max's song). And it goes like this: "De Max, de Dachs, das isch miin Früünd…" (Max, the badger, he's my friend...) There's even a version in Romansh!
Since children aren't just on foot when in traffic, Max put on his thinking cap and created something special: "Max Trax" is a bike practice track on which children can learn the skills of coordination, dexterity and safety on their bikes. There are already around 500 "Max Trax" across Switzerland – for example in kindergarten, schools and at events like the Züri-Fäscht. And of course, whenever possible, he's there – in the flesh, colorful, and touchable: Max the Badger.
Not just children learn from Max how to be careful and safe in road traffic. So that they can be the good example they are meant to be, parents also need to be reminded occasionally how to behave! We'll give you three guesses who our ambassador was for this AXA advertising campaign! (Video in German)
Max isn't just clever, he's now smart too: as an app for smartphones that the AXA Foundation for Prevention is launching to coincide with our mascot's tenth birthday. It means your child can practice walking to school easily and playfully. Max the Badger and we at AXA wish you lots of fun! And don't forget: "De Max, de Dachs, das isch miin Früünd…" (Max, the badger, he's my friend...)
Here you can download the app "Max der Dachs – dein Schulweg" (Max the Badger – Your Way to School). For free of course.
(Video in German)