New ad campaign uses fun as means of social change

Posted Oct 13, 2009 by KJ Mullins
Would you run up and down the stairs if you were creating music? That was the question asked by Volkswagen and the ad agency DDB when they turned a set of stairs into a giant piano.
Stairs made to resemble and sound like a piano
Stairs made to resemble and sound like a piano
From YouTube screenshot
Volkswagen has a new ad campaign "The Fun Theory." The campaigns are out of the Stockholm ad agency division of DDB. Using fun as the incentive, ongoing experiments want to explore if people's behaviors will change once the environments are tweaked.
One of the experiments involved turning a set of stairs in a subway station into a giant piano. The goal was to see if more people would use the stairs instead of the escalator. The experiment worked -- more than 66 percent decided to make their own kind of music by taking the stairs.
Another experiment involved having a trashcan make a noise like a 50 foot deep well when people picked up their trash.
A planned experiment will involve bottle recycling turned into an arcade game.
The experiments are turning up on YouTube as put of the campaign.
U Talking Marketing reports:
“We believe that the easiest way to change people's behaviour for the better is by making it fun to do. We call it ‘The Fun Theory’,” explains an accompanying posting.