Home > Uncategorized > Volkswagon’s “The Fun Theory” Viral Campaign

Volkswagon’s “The Fun Theory” Viral Campaign

It seems that every company is determined to produce the next big viral video campaign, so much so that there are parodies out there poking fun at this obsession (enter the video we watched in class a few weeks ago). For every viral campaign that ends up making it, there are most likely hundreds that don’t. An example of a company that appears to be doing something right though, is VW. The company’s “The Fun Theory” viral campaign (brainchild of DDB’s Stockholm office) consists of a series of social experiments that are all aimed at one simple concept – is it possible to change people’s behavior for the better by introducing a “fun” element? How do you effectively get people to take the stairs instead of the escalator,properly dispose of their trash, and recycle their bottles? Well, each viral video shows that it’s entirely to do so by making the actions fun.

The top video, “Piano Stairs,” has over 11 million views on YouTube as of today, and the other two videos, “World’s Deepest Bin” and “Bottle Arcade” also boast significant numbers. So what kind of exposure is VW getting from this? The company’s branding within each video is very minimal, as it displays only its logo at the end. But, thanks to the viral nature of the videos, millions of people have now seen that logo, and come to associate the VW brand with the socially responsible – and, well, fun – cause that it is promoting. And, I would argue, the reason these videos have been so successful is probably because of the subtle branding they employ; they are not a blatant, “love this brand” move that so many consumers come to resent. So, it looks like the KISS principle really does ring true in this instance – sometimes it pays to keep it simple, stupid.

Here is a link to an article (with videos) on Mashable: http://mashable.com/2009/10/11/the-fun-theory/

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