The Fun Theory

DDB Stockholm took the challenge of creating Volkswagen‘s new ad campaign as an opportunity to experiment with fun, and involve the audience.

It’s called “The Fun Theory” – the idea that making something fun is the easiest way to change people’s behavior for the better. DDB innovators began to experiment in different ways of making simple tasks fun: they turned a staircase into a piano, a bottle bank into an arcade, and added sound effects to a garbage bin.

The immediate success of their experiments encouraged DDB to take “The Fun Theory” one step further.

In Fall 2009, fans were asked to come up with their own innovative and fun ways to encourage people to change their behavior for the better – whether it be for themselves, the environments, or what have you. Participants then submitted their entries on thefuntheory.com, where they awaited judgment. The competition closed on Dec. 15th and site visitors had a month to cast their votes.  The entries were then at the mercy of “the jury,” comprised of four influencial Swedes (only one of whom is associated with VW). The jury narrowed it down to a top 10, and finally, chose The Fun Theory award winner – The Speed Camera Lottery (you can view the other entries here):

DDB drew inspiration from this competition in creating the new VW “Fast Lane” campaign slogan: Driven By Fun. Combine this with viral video and social media (check out their Facebook page) and you have VW’s new campaign.

The first commercial released for this campaign entitled “The Slide,” in which VW livened up commuters’ daily routines by offering the option of a slide instead of the stairs or escalator, has earned nearly 800,000 views in 10 days:

Have DDB and VW managed a viral video/ad campaign success through the theory of fun? I’d say so.

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~ by Jamilyn Mohr on June 24, 2010.

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