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The Punishing Signal

Award: Yellow Pencil

Yellow Pencil / Media / Use of Press & Outdoor / 2020

Award: Yellow Pencil

Yellow Pencil / Experiential / Public Environments

Award: Graphite Pencil

Graphite Pencil / PR / Low Budget Campaigns

Award: Graphite Pencil

Graphite Pencil / Impact / Initiative/Not for Profits

Award: Wood Pencil

Wood Pencil / PR / Use of Events & Stunts

70% of noise pollution on Mumbai’s roads is due to excessive honking. After many attempts to curb it, Mumbai Police did what fines couldn’t – they changed behaviour with an unexpected dash of humour by turning traffic signals into Punishing Signals. When honking crossed 85 dB, the countdown timer at a signal would reset, making impatient motorists wait more. A film of this solution was cut and tweeted by Mumbai Police. It soon became the most liked and shared topic in India, creating instant results as well as nationwide chatter.

  • The Punishing Signal

What did the judges have to say?

A masterclass in behaviour change on a budget, with hard-to-find humour built in.

Ali Gee, Deputy CEO & Senior Partner, FleishmanHillard Fishburn

The Punishing Signal lifts a page out of the social learning experiments of the 50s and 60s and applies it to the 20th century. Effortlessly simple and direct, the medium delivers the message. Impatience is measured in decibels and rewarded with a timeout. A light-hearted and effective reminder slow your roll, even at a standstill. Even seemingly small actions can have a huge impact. I can't wait to see this initiative roll out across India beyond.

Sarah Moffat, CCO, Turner Duckworth

They got right into the heart of the problem in a very direct way and it’s such a simple idea, there was no innovation that made it possible it was just creative thinking.

Shula Sinclair, Global Head of Strategy, Spark Foundry

Are you credited on this winning entry?

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