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The Fun Theory

I recently contributed to an online discussion about outstanding brands by adding a short treatise on Volkswagen. In a nutshell, it was my take that VW has maintained a quality image for years due to consistently clever advertising backed up by a solid product. Additionally, though, Volkswagen has positioned itself in the market as a lifestyle; there are a variety of different cohorts that can equally be called “VW people.”

Coincidentally, a classmate sent me a link the other day that bolstered my assertion about VW being more than a mere automaker. Volkswagen has launched a new (and if I may say, pretty cool) online initiative — a competition called “The Fun Theory.” In their words, the site is  “dedicated to the thought that something as simple as fun is the easiest way to change people’s behaviour for the better. Be it for yourself, for the environment, or for something entirely different, the only thing that matters is that it’s change for the better.” In my own words, the gist is, “What would happen if doing something good (for you, for your community, for your planet) was fun instead of chore?” And so with that as the premise,  VW is challenging clever folks to come up with a fun solution to drudgework and see if more people will take on boring tasks or go the extra mile, as it were, as a result. The winner of the contest wins 3,500 Euro from Volkswagen (apparently) and their invention gets put out for the world to see and use.

Obviously, it’s easy to make that leap to connect a car company and a for-the-greater-good project and translate that into Joe McSocially-Conscious Consumer being more amenable to buying said company’s product as a result… but even setting that hint of cynicism aside, The Fun Theory is a great idea. And Volkswagen’s connection, at least visually, is fairly subtle.

Check it out:


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