January 2020 saw Mumbai Police launch the #HonkResponsibly campaign, addressing Mumbaikars’ habit of reckless honking while waiting at red traffic lights. As part of the campaign, decibel meters were attached to traffic signals at some of Mumbai’s busiest junctions. The more drivers honked, the higher the decibel meter rose. When the decibel exceeded a dangerous 85dB, the signal timer reset, forcing drivers to wait longer for a green light. Through this experiment, Mumbai Police aimed to encourage better road discipline, tackle noise pollution and realize a more stress-free commute for the city.
What a way to cut through the noise to address the very real issue of noise pollution. It certainly opened our team’s ears to new possibilities for ‘smart cities’ :) Here are two main takeaways from this innovation:
Funny business 😄
Let’s start with the obvious. This setup is hilarious. This campaign tackled a serious problem with a good dose of humor. Thanks to the millions of messages competing for their attention at every moment, consumers are experts at tuning the vast majority out. As we explored a decade ago with MATURIALISM, brands from Miami to Mumbai need to deliver messages infused with a shock factor – the daring, the funny, and the downright risqué – to reach modern consumers. What important issue is your brand working to tackle? Can you use a honk-load of humor to get consumers’ attention and to change their behavior?
A welcome intervention 👍
Noise-related problems aside, this innovation also points to an emerging opportunity for brands to engage consumers in a meaningful way. In 2020, with a world of information and personal metrics at their fingertips, consumers are increasingly informed of the negative consequences of their behavior. In pursuit of self-improvement and the common good, they are embracing initiatives that stop enabling or even restrict their behaviours – see Heineken’s Dry January initiative, or Volvo’s extreme approach to dangerous drivers. Are there bold measures you can take to curb bad behaviour and enforce better habits? Read our 2020 trend INTERVENTION SEEKERS for more inspiration!