funThe Fun Theory, as implemented by Volkswagen as part of a campaign to associate their brand with having fun (fun of driving) which is consistent with their standard TV ads, was completely successful. One of these videos, the Stairs, has generated 12 million views – quite the feat for only six months of operation and I’ve posted earlier today two YouTube video clips – Bottle Recyler and Stairs versus Escalators to showcase the opportunity in resetting standard user interaction experiences on the most mundane and trivial of technologies and choices.

In these examples simple adjustments in the experience led to radical changes in behavior. The stairs were the dog compared to the escalator until they were decorated as piano keys and made sounds like a piano. Then walking up the stairs became a musical experience and more fun for the pedestrian which changed behavior. A much greater percentage of pedestrians used the musical stairs than the escalators, a reversal from the past.

In the case of the bottle recycler the bottle return canister was jerry-rigged to generate points as in an arcade game. Here it was so much fun that 99% of recyclers visited the arcade canister versus another, equally convenient canister.

In the same way, marketers can apply the same effect to change the users’ experience with commonplace and mundane appliances and services. This way, they can significantly affect the appeal of their device/software/product/service and create a value set unheard of in what could be a well-entrenched and even mature market.

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