CONTACTTRAFFICABOUT TOM VANDERBILTOTHER WRITING CONTACT ABOUT THE BOOK

“Not-Holes”

Fake Potholes 3

John over at Nudge was asking about these fake potholes, which bring up comparisons to the “Philadelphia Experiment,” i.e., the ersatz speed bumps in the City of Non-Brotherly Driving.

These are indeed fake, and evidently come from Mumbai, according to this website.

“However, the stickers are not used as speed limiting devices as claimed in the message. The text painted on the roadway a few meters ahead of each pothole sticker show their real purpose. In reality, they were used as part of an advertisement for Pioneer Suspension, a vehicle suspension supplier. The ad was intended to suggest to drivers that, with Pioneer Suspension fitted to their vehicles, they would enjoy a smooth ride even on rough roads. Information about the ad published on the Ads of The World website…

…According to Ads of the World, the ad was created by Advertising Agency, Y&R Everest, Mumbai, India in 2007. It is unclear under what conditions or circumstances the advertising tactic was carried out. As many commentators have noted, unless the tactic was used in very controlled conditions, such fake potholes could actually be quite dangerous. Approaching drivers could swerve suddenly to avoid the “pothole” and serious accidents could result.

….A similar tactic was used in an ad for Ford Ranger in 2006. Ads of the World notes:

The project’s purpose was to allow drivers to experience the Ford pickup’s attribute of softness on hostile surfaces. In order to achieve this, several floor graphics were imprinted with cracks, snow and/or mud in various city streets. Next to them, a road signal that read “This is how it feels, Ford Ranger” was placed. Drivers drove through a difficult road without feeling it; situation that led them to experience the unique softness of riding in a Ford pickup. The floor graphics were placed in lateral streets and parking areas with speed limits that didn’t exceed 10 kilometers per hour, with the objective of looking out for the driver’s safety.

…Such tactics might be quite effective as advertising mechanisms. However, given their potential to cause accidents, it seems doubtful that any jurisdiction would use such potholes stickers as speed limiting devices on busy roadways.”

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008 at 8:27 am and is filed under Etc.. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

5 Responses to ““Not-Holes””

  1. Tucker Says:

    People in my home town regularly make arguments for REAL potholes as speed limiting devices so I wouldn’t rule it out. There is a sizable political contingent for refusing to repair potholes until they get dangerous to discourage commuters from traveling cutting through the town.

  2. 3D floorgraphics Says:

    Well thats indeed a quite bad example of using 3D floorgraphics (gave me a good laugh though).

    Usually – this type of 3D ad is used for instore and POS marketing.
    E.G. http://www.shapeshiftermedia.com offers the creation of several 3d advertising formats, which seem to become quite popular.

    regards,

    peter mayer

  3. Grenville Says:

    I agree with Peter. Not sure how long this lasted in the maddening Bombay traffic but the idea is good for the suspension company. Too bad they didn’t make the name of the company just as visible. Like shapeshifter http://www.encyclomedia.in does some interesting stuff as well though they don’t call it 3D and it goes beyond floor surfaces. They seem to be doing some great work for big brands.

  4. Mark Says:

    Who ever uses those lovely pictures must have lots of money to pay out in liability claims, as vehicles swerve into others, to miss the holes.

    Only the foolish would dare use something like that.

  5. Phil E. Drifter Says:

    mark remind me to stay off the roads whenever you’re driving. If you’d swerve into another vehicle to miss these, not only do you need glasses but you need your license revoked.

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Traffic Tom Vanderbilt

How We Drive is the companion blog to Tom Vanderbilt’s New York Times bestselling book, Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us), published by Alfred A. Knopf in the U.S. and Canada, Penguin in the U.K, and in languages other than English by a number of other fine publishers worldwide.

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