Behavioral Architecting in India by Sam Kligman

Is it possible for marketing firms to save lives? India based FinalMile has proven to me it is. Using what has become known as behavioral economics in the U.S., the company reduced train track related deaths by 75% in one city and was commissioned improve safety by India’s national railway system because of this. Moreover, other industries that might not usually used marketing are also employing FinalMile to campaign for initiatives involving safe driving and toilet use as opposed to public defecation. While this could be looked at as a progression toward more government propaganda, I think the initiatives that are currently being promoted are a good use of the government’s limited resources since health, wellness, and safety education is likely to be scarcer among India’s large poor population. In fact, I feel that it has just scratched the surface in terms of what it could do and that it should be used more regularly throughout the country. It has been said that a picture is worth a thousand words and with India being a country with citizens who use many different languages and are often illiterate, graphic illustrations such as those used by FinalMile are probably the best way India’s government could reach the largest number of its constituents with the clearest message. Obviously, radio and television can be used to help shape its citizens behaviors are both require technology while FinalMile goes back to the tried and true permanent billboards that require nothing more than an observer’s attention.

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