Short List
Product / ServiceSIGNAL
CategoryG04. Social Behaviour
Idea Creation LODESTAR UM Mumbai, INDIA
Idea Creation 2 FCB INTERFACE Mumbai, INDIA
Media Placement LODESTAR UM Mumbai, INDIA


Name Company Position
Robby Mathew FCB India Chief Creative Officer
Susan Credle FCB India Global Chief Creative Officer
Fred Levron FCB India Worldwide Creative Partner
Rohit Ohri FCB India Chairman
Joemon Thaliath FCB India Chief Executive Officer
Mukesh Jadhav FCB India Senior Creative Director
Rakesh Menon FCB India Senior Creative Director
Shailesh Gupte FCB India Senior Vice President
Arushi Phillips FCB India Coporate Communication Manager
Sudarshan Karandikar FCB India Account Executive
Omkar Kulkarni FCB India Account Executive
Mayuresh Vengurlekar FCB India Art Director
Ravi Ananthan FCB India Copywriter
Siddharth Kutty FCB India Copy Assistance
Dhruv Jha Lodestar UM Content Manager
Amit Raina Lodestar UM Media Controller
Mazhar Khan FCB India Agency Producer
Alpa Jobalia FCB India Agency Producer
Sukirth Rao 30ML Ideas Production Film Producer
Archana Sarkar 30ML Ideas Production Film Producer
Shwetabh Mishra 30ML Ideas Production Film Producer
Akshay Nair 30ML Ideas Production Film Direction
Rupesh Gor FCB India AV assistance
Dipti Ronghe FCB India AV Assistance
Pratik Mhatre FCB India Coordination
Prashant Pawar FCB India Cordination
Ahel Maswood FCB India Coordination
Yogesh Bhusare FCB India Coordination
Purbali Mukher FCB India Coordination
JeeJaiee Thakur FCB India Coordination
Vishnu Sudarshan FCB India Coordination
Crescens Lemos Lodestar UM Media Executive

Why is this work relevant for Media?

We had used an existing static medium ( traffic signal) and created a new tech based live interactive medium which not only communicated the message effectively but changed behaviour with fun and humanity. The medium was experiential, created immediate difference at an individual and collective level. It went viral because of the power of the idea. It will always remain unique as the medium can almost not be used by any other clientin such an interactive and playful manner.


Excessive honking on the roads in Mumbai results in severe noise pollution. It is estimated that nearly 70% of noise pollution on Mumbai’s roads is caused by excessive honking of car horns. Pressing the horn had become an involuntary habit for many commuters. Drivers assumed that by pressing the horn, it would clear the way, irrespective of what is in front of them. And their impatience and reckless behavior continued even during heavy traffic situations, in anticipation that someone may come ahead of them while they were speeding or most notably at traffic junctions that include functioning traffic signals. We had to make drivers realize that recklessly abusing the horn was not a proper solution. They had to learn patience and wait while traffic could move along naturally. But this would involve changing a ‘social behavior’ that had become second nature to most drivers over the years!

Describe the creative idea / insights (30% of vote)

Our client Mumbai Police wanted to find effective ways of changing honking behavior of the drivers and ultimately reduce noise pollution. As their research showed that 1.Mumbai has over 4 million vehicles on the roads. And over 510 vehicles per kilometer, the highest car density among Indian cities 2. It was estimated that nearly 70% of noise pollution on Mumbai’s roads is caused by excessive honking of car horns 3. Researchers had confirmed that long periods of exposure to over 85db sound levels can cause hearing loss.

Describe the strategy (20% of vote)

We conceived an innovative tech-based idea, “The Punishing Signal” – the more you’d honk, the longer you and all others would have to wait at the traffic light. We discussed the idea with Mumbai’s police commissioner, and he loved it. Punishing signals would be an experiential learning with punishment and reward built-in creating immediate change in individual and collective behaviour. Together with the Mumbai police, we identified several heavy traffic junctions/crossroads that experienced intense honking and installed sensors and decibel meters at the traffic signals. These sound sensors and decibel meters were attached to the signal lights which changed based on the sound decibel level. The trigger that changed traffic lights from “Stop” to “Go” was linked to the decibel meters: when the sound level crossed 85 dB, the signal would reset. The more you honked, the higher the noise dB, and the longer you’d wait at a red light.

Describe the execution (20% of vote)

Traffic signals were recreated as Punishing Signals at several heavy traffic points, CSMT, Marine Drive, Peddar Road, Hindamata and Bandra West etc. When honking crossed 85 dB, the countdown timer at the signal would reset, which made impatient motorists wait longer. While they waited, interactive OOH displays linked to the signal pushed messages LIVE, highlighting their bad behavior with a wink and a smile. If they wanted the signal to turn green, they’d need to exercise restraint from honking. Thus, the traffic signal had now become the punishing signal… the medium had become the message. It was a massive logistics exercise, which involved making built-in circuit changes in the automated signalling systems, with signal switching being linked to the sound sensors and the noise decibel levels. A huge set of multi discplinary team carefully planned to avoid causing long jams and traffic disruption on the roads.

List the results (30% of vote)

Mumbai Police assessed the average honking dBs at the Punishing Signals a week before and a month after roll-out and found a decrease of 32%. P Ashok (Mumbai Police officer) announced on CNN a further roll-out in 10 additional locations, and then to the entire traffic system in the city. The news spread like wildfire and the Punishing Signal was adopted in many cities. The leading newspaper Times of India (ToI) reported KTR Rao (Telangana Minister) and Police Head announcing a roll-out in their city Hyderabad; identifying 16 locations. B Rao (City Police Commissioner) also announced punishing signals across Bengaluru city. District Collector LK Jatav announced implementation in Indore city, so it becomes the “Silent City.” Excessive honking had a disruptive influence on citizens’ physical & mental health. After many attempts to curb it, Mumbai Police did what fines couldn’t. They changed behaviour with a sense of humour and humanity

Please tell us about the social behaviour that inspired the work

Pressing the horn had become an involuntary habit/behavior for many motorists. Drivers assumed that by honking the horn, they would be could clear the way irrespective of what is in front of them. In heavy traffic situations, most notably at traffic junctions that include functioning traffic signals, the drivers were most impatient and recklessly kept pressing the horn. This reckless behavior resulted in unnecessary cacophony and a serious noise pollution problem A change of behavior was imperative