How do you get people to change behaviour and do the right thing? How do you incentivise doing good? Volkswagen answered these questions with The Fun Theory. They staged four different public interventions: a piano staircase, a bin with a fifty-foot drop, the bottle-bank arcade, fast lanes in supermarkets and subways and a speed-camera lottery.
Instead of making consumers feel guilty, this campaign makes it exciting to do the right thing. This enjoyment of doing good also ties back very strongly to Volkswagen’s Bluemotion – a series of cars they have designed which are more environmentally friendly than their standard offering.
The Fun Theory proved to be true – all of the interventions were used much more than other local options – the stairs, which were right next to an escalator, were used 66% more than normal as people took their time playing a tune. These ideas and the reactions from people were filmed and then made available online as viral films, where they performed very well. This campaign proves to be so cutting edge because it straddles the line between ambient and viral and at the same time espouses an idea more than a specific brand message. It’s all about doing good and having fun.