Wednesday, 1 June 2011

I surrender!

I am grateful to the June issue of 'The Marketer' magazine for flagging up the long-running PedFlag programme in Kirkland, Washington, US.

"The basic concept of the PedFlag is to assist the pedestrian in gaining the attention of the approaching motorist. With the aid of the brightly colored flag that can be held out in front of the pedestrian and/or waved, the pedestrian is better able to attract the attention of the driver sooner by becoming more visible. This is a device that is low in cost and can be installed for pedestrian use in a timely manner. Once the equipment is installed at the crossing, the only ongoing cost is the replacement of the flags. Depending on the location and season, it can be zero to five flags a week. "

Please check out the extraordinary video

The Marketer (magazine of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, no less) featured this as a case study on social marketing for behavioural change and I think you'll agree it's as fine an example of failing to deal with the underlying issue of a motorcentric society as you can possibly find - something the magazine signally failed to note as it twittered on about 'Promotion Problems' in getting more flag use ('The vast majority indicated they felt safe and were sure that drivers could see them') and 'Place Problems' (Others noted that often there were no flags on their side of the street').