Making People Dance Instead of Jaywalk

Making People Dance Instead of JaywalkI love anything that is fun and investigates human psychology, especially crowd psychology, and the investigation of how you can use fun to potentially influence human behavior for social good (i.e. the piano stairs example I’ve shared before).

Nobody likes to wait at pedestrian crossings. Traffic lights can be dangerous for impatient pedestrians trying to save a few seconds to cross the street (and willing to risk their lives in the process).

The folks at Smart created The Dancing Traffic Light, an experiential marketing concept providing a fun and safe way to keep people from venturing too early into the street. They started by placing a dance room on a square in Lisbon, Portugal and invited random pedestrians to go into the box and dance. Their movements were then displayed on a few traffic lights in real time. This resulted in 81% more people stopping and waiting at those red lights.

It’s a genius marketing gimmick because it reinforces the brand value of fun by making people dance in a box that looks, imagine that, a bit like a smart car.

The question brought up by this example of a marketing campaign that claims that fun can be used to achieve social good, is that it claims a benefit, that without an extended test could be attributed to novelty…

Does the benefit hold up over time?

Or does it stop being fun and impactful after people have seen it once or twice or the live video component goes away and it becomes a recording? Do people then start jaywalking again at the normal rate?

What do you think?

About Braden Kelley

Braden Kelley is a popular innovation speaker and workshop leader, helps companies build innovation cultures and infrastructures, and plan organizational changes that are more human and less overwhelming. He is the author of Charting Change from Palgrave Macmillan and Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire from John Wiley & Sons. Braden has been advising companies since 1996, while living and working in England, Germany, and the United States. Braden earned his MBA from top-rated London Business School. Follow him on Twitter and Linkedin.
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