Sunday, 19 August 2012

Fun Theory and Behavior Change - Using Fun To Change Peoples Habits

My current commissions are almost exclusively focused on effecting behaviour change in challenging environments.  This is a tough ask at the best of times but one which I am usually able to help my clients with.  One issue that I often face is initativeitis - where client shave been there done that and are looking for new ideas


Volkswagen (or rather ad agency DDB Stockholm) appear to have come across a way not only to create viral video and so build brand awareness and sales but also to change people behaviours. Their new campaign “The Fun Theory” is a series of experiments, captured on video, to find out if making the world more fun can improve people’s behaviour. The top video, Piano Stairs, has achieved over 1 million views on YouTube.

Among the experiments: does turning a set of subway stairs into a real-life piano encourage people to use them (answer: yes, 66% more). Another experiment asks whether making a trash can sound like a 50ft-deep well will make people pick up their trash. Yet another encourages people to obey the speed limit by entering the compliant in a lottery in which they share the offenders speeding fines.
 


I think this is fascinating and can see how this methodology could be used the change behaviour at work in the context of issues such as process change, systems implementation, sales etc.?  Change Managers and HR Directors get your thinking caps on!!

 

The brand placement is as subtle as it could possibly be: a simple VW logo dropped in at the end. And yet the content carries that logo all around the web, as tens of thousands of people pass around the video, along with their positive associations for the VW brand. Isn’t that the definition of a perfect brand campaign?

4 comments:

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Anne Collins said...

Cool idea! I think all the advertising agencies even those from New York should start coming up with a concept just like this one, apart from the very positive effect it'll give to the drivers and motorists, it also poses a very good respond to the company who uses the kind of advertising method. What we really need now is something where we can learn more and earn some, both at the same time.

Ebony Shapcott said...

This can be related to positive euphemism. One way to positively change a behavior is to positively address it too. This is why advertising agencies create "fun" ideas that leave marks on people's minds. In that way, they can make the viewers remember the product, and at the same time, create positive moods toward others.

Wes Aaron said...

The piano stairs is a brilliant idea! The Fun Theory should also be applied in business, maybe we can change the habits into something more productive and useful.