The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]


Incentive Or Weakness?
August 9, 2011, 6:20 am
Filed under: Comment

So when I was in London, I was on the tube when I saw this:

No, I’m not talking about the ‘Lower Window For Ventilation’ sign … surely the most obvious sign in the history of the World … I’m talking about the one below it, the one that notifies you of fines if you fail to present a valid ticket when asked for it.

As you can see, they say that the penalty for an invalid ticket – or no ticket at all – is 50 quid, reduced to £25 if you pay within 21 days.

Now the thing is, I think this is quite smart.

Whereas so many organisations would say the fine is £25, increasing to £50 if they don’t pay within 21 days, the British Underground service have opted to go the other way.

Why?

Well, accepting there’s the possibility it might just be dumb luck, I’d like to think that it’s because they have recognised that debt accumulation is no where near as much as a deterrent as it once was – which I accept is driven as much by external economic issues as it is their own choices and decisions – so offering an option that seemingly offers guilty parties ‘help and benefit’ if they pay their fines quickly, is possibly more attractive – and likely – than if they went with the opposite option.

Of course, fines that are paid quickly are also commercially more valuable to organisations than going through the hell that is trying to get someone to pay through legal action – so while I have no stats to prove whether this approach is working or even more effective than the alternatives – I think it shows [accidentally or not] that the Underground Transport Department has more understanding of societies current mindset and attitude than many agencies or planners put into the work they produce.

It also shows how planners can post-rationalise pretty much anything.


40 Comments so far
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and i thought yesterdays post was boring as fuck.

Comment by andy@cynic

Oh come on, it’s better than yesterday’s, surely?

Comment by Rob

you went to london. we know. move the fuck on.

Comment by andy@cynic

you probably got a free fucking ticket from lee so what do you worry about any fucking fine. you fucking prince.

Comment by andy@cynic

Jealousy is so ugly isn’t it.

Comment by Rob

the last sentence is the best fucking line any planner has written for fucking ages.

Comment by andy@cynic

I finally understand what a planner has said. It’s like winning “who wants to be a millionaire” but the prize is only worth three bucks.

Comment by Billy Whizz

whoever does their amazing psychological genius as fuck fine strategy isnt as clever as their day to fucking day ticket price strategy fixer.

£4 per hot, squashed and sweat ride or £8 for as many trips as you are stupid enough to want that whole fucking day. targeting the same fuckers who buy a computers because it has fucking “intel inside” even if they dont know or need what the fucker does but better to be “safe than sorry”. like twats that have 11 laptops and more backups than the fucking american army. sound like any twat you know campbell?

Comment by andy@cynic

Apple have launched a new set of macbooks so make that 12 computers, unless Bazza has decided tonmake him pay like everyone else and then it’s still at 11.

Comment by Billy Whizz

the bad news is he already has got one.
the good is the fucker had to buy it himself.

so youre right billy, should have said 12. what the fuck does he need 12 fucking computers for. all he uses them for is to write this bollocks and as far as i fucking know, computers havent got a “self respect” chip in them yet so they cant all be committing technological suicide because of the shame.

his post rationalising for buying another bastard puts his justification of this post to fucking shame. also shows planners can explain anything away but people still look at them like theyre a bunch of sad twats.

Comment by andy@cynic

What a twat.
More money than birkenstocks. (can’t say sense for blatant reasons)

Comment by Billy Whizz

on the fucking nail.

Comment by andy@cynic

No comment.

I’m too scared too …

Comment by Rob

You buy more of our products than some of our corporate accounts Robert. Thank you.

Comment by Bazza

Isn’t £25 about 11 cents in real money?

Comment by Billy Whizz

judging by “your countries” economy, you cant even rustle up 11 fucking cents.

Comment by andy@cynic

I don’t know if this is right. I don’t know if I agree with it. But I like the premise so I hope it is.

Comment by Pete

you fucking would.

Comment by andy@cynic

To bring a dose of realty to the tourist’s view expressed in this post, I’ll just point out that it’s the standard method for all parking tickets.

Comment by John

if you can afford to run a car and drive it around london, you can afford a fucking parking ticket.

Comment by andy@cynic

all the cars in london are on fire

Comment by John

thats british engineering for you.

Comment by andy@cynic

Excellent comment John & Andy. And I don’t get to say that very often. Ha.

Comment by Rob

yeah, because your posts are fucking pulitzer worthy arent they. cock.

Comment by andy@cynic

oh youre putting campbell in his place. missed that.

Comment by andy@cynic

Incentive, and quite clever. The British Underground’s planners have a keen understanding of the current mindset of society. They then utilize this understanding to affect behavior, also the province of ad planners.

Comment by Carol L. Weinfeld

I am unsure whether this approach has been influenced by the economic mindset or it has simply caught up with the economic mindset, but I contend some of the finest strategic thinking originates from clients rather than their agencies.

I accept this is due to organisations shielding their ideas from their agencies eyes until the development process has gained momentum, however this is the ramification of years of indulgence. This is a more important post than you realise Robert, I hope people appreciate why.

Comment by Lee Hill

That’s very kind of you Lee … especially after the bullshit I’ve had today. I’d explain more but I’m in a foul mood and I don’t want to make my blood pressure increase even higher as I recollect the bollocks I’ve just heard, but be assured your comment pretty much hits the nail on the head even though one person in particular either refuses to believe it or is too deluded to believe it.

Comment by Rob

Maybe you require the calming influence of Andrew back in your life.

Comment by Lee Hill

Yeah, that’s sure to help.

Comment by Rob

Lee’s right, it really shouldn’t be beyond the ability of a business to create a sign or two without running to outside agencies.

That said, I was told this week that impromptu notices announcing the cancellation of an individual class are often taken down by the general manager as they don’t conform to brand communication rules. Rules that now mean the brand is renowned for failure to communicate.

Comment by John

The general manager of the local branch of a national health club chain, that is.

Comment by John

I sometimes wonder if people actually understand what a brand is and what it is meant to do. So many people seem to be under the impression it’s role is to minimise sales or create additional barriers to success when it is absolutely the opposite.

Comment by Rob

I thought it was a proprietary process for any number of industries.

Comment by John

I’m never ceased to be amazed how many many senior people seriously think a brand means a fucking logo and some art directional guidelines.
Not to ,mention fucking suits who respond to a really, really good idea with ‘that’s just not (insert brand x here)’ usualy refering to a brand x no one gives a monkeys about.
People really don’t care about brands that much, apart from one or two oddballs, and certainly couldn’t care less a logo has less than 200 mm space around it.

Comment by northern

Don’t forget when people say an idea … at a really early starting point … is “off brand”. That almost single handedly makes me want to kill. Especially today.

Comment by Rob

Oh, that’s what I meant when I was referring to suits. I agree, tar and feathers. And anyway, if it’s one of the one in a million times they have a point and it actually matters, surely the challenge is to develop stuff so it’s ‘on brand’.

Comment by northern

Yep plus making sure we focus on the actual objective [that should be never purely “awareness”] before there’s even any bollocks talked about being on or off brand.

I am as pissed off today as you would be if someone stole your tea, your mug, your wife made you buy another house ANNNNNNNND you were ordered to do 8 months sitting in the Media Arts office.

Comment by Rob

Oh my, what on earth has happened?

If it’s any consolation, I’m experiencing an emotion far worse than white hot anger, I refer to the numbing, mind clamp of boredom.
On the upside, my new flippers have arrived, or, in modern parlance, swim fins (see even bloody swimming manaufacturers talk marketing bollocks)

Comment by northern

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