Imagine this. It’s another busy day in the city today. You’re not even in a hurry since working at the office fills you with dread every day. And on your way, you stumble upon the usual flight of stairs and the slow-moving escalator going up. Except that this time, the stairs are shaped like a piano keyboard and each step that you take produces a tone. Which path would you take if you were going up? The stairs or the escalator?
I bet you’d choose the stairs.
People Love Doing Something Fun
That is exactly what Volkswagen did in 2009 with their Piano Staircase Initiative. Volkswagen wanted to know how they could convince people to take the stairs instead of the escalator. So, they turned an often overlooked flight of stairs into a piano keyboard. People eventually realized how much fun it was to make music with their footsteps. Surprisingly, 66% more people than normal chose the stairs over the escalator than usual.
The Piano Staircase Initiative was the first in a series of fun social experiments in Volkswagen’s unique brand campaign called “The Fun Theory.” The automotive company also had other fun projects in the campaign: the world’s deepest trash bin, shopping cart fast lanes in supermarkets, and a slide for people who are in a rush to go downstairs.
The Fun Theory in Action
Volkswagen’s The Fun Theory campaign quickly became viral. And soon, people and brands from around the world started to bring more fun to everybody’s lives.
Here are a few examples:
These trash bins in Lucerne, Switzerland encouraged people to throw their trash by showing a fun way to get the trash into the trash bin. The trash bin on the left shows a free throw line where people can shoot their trash from. Meanwhile, the one of the right invites people to hopscotch their way towards the trash bin.
A team of students from Northumbria University in UK designed a hand sanitizer dispenser that ejects real alcoholic drinks – or so it seemed. The shocking sight of an upside-down bottle of liquor was enough to invite curiosity from people who wanted to know what alcohol smelled like on their hands – even when there was only sanitary alcohol inside the bottle.
Cookies Quartet, a famous restaurant in Hong Kong, promoted their wonderful dining experience by bringing it to the general public. They set up an elegantly decorated dining table in the middle of a busy path with a sign inviting people to “Take a Seat.” Those who took a seat were treated to exquisite samples of delicious food as a quartet of violinists performed a tune for them. Guests were handed a QR code to use the next time they came to the restaurant for a discount.
It’s All About Fun!
The Fun Theory had made a huge impact on the lives of many individuals all around the world. It not only made people’s daily life more fascinating and engaging, but it also reminded us that we all need a little fun and comedy every now and then.
This fun initiative, as seen in the restaurant’s example above, can also be applied in advertising. When you, as a brand, successfully evoked pleasant feelings in your customers, they will remember you as someone who made them happy for a day. And it’s happy sensations like this that strengthen your customers’ trust in your brand.
Ready to add more fun to your next ad campaign? Call Outcomm now at 09175375110 or at (02) 856-2285 and start your fun-filled ad campaign today.