Urban interventions aren’t the sole domain of urban interventionists any more — big brands have started to hack the urban landscape. Car brand Smart, for instance, that wants to entertain pedestrians in Lisbon with a tweaked traffic light that starts dancing every time right before it changes to green.
The dancing man gets its grooves from volunteers, whose moves are recorded inside a huge installation on a square right next to the traffic light. In this cabin, that looks like a giant traffic light itself, people can choose a song from a digital screen and start dancing. The dancing traffic light man is fun, of course, but also addresses a bigger cause, that is. 81% more people do stop for the red traffic light when the little guy is dancing, says Smart in this video, and so it contributes to a safer street.
Yes, the intervention lets people stop for traffic lights and enjoy them at the same time. The project, however, would have been equally funny when it would just have been minimized to the little dancing traffic light man. With the research, campaign and interactive installation finery around the project Smart pretty much overperforms, which takes away some charm.