Can you solve a problem by making it fun to deal with? – DDB’s Funtheory campaign for Volkswagen

DDB‘s Funtheory campaign for Volkswagen has bagged Cyber Grand Prix at the 57th International Cannes Lions Advertising Festival. Cyber Grand Prix is probably the most prestigious award in internet advertising. Fun Theory campaign is an example of generating creativity at different levels.

Fun Theory campaign was all about motivating people to come up with creative solutions to mundane issues. However, the idea was, how can a social/behavioral problem be solved by making it fun to deal with? For example, we all know that people should obey speed limits on city streets as well as on highways, but still many don’t obey speed limits. Can we make more people obey speed limits by making it fun to do? We all are advised by doctors, friends and colleagues that we should use stairs instead of escalators or elevators, still we don’t. Can we make more people take stairs by making it fun to do so? Can we make more kids clean up their rooms by making it fun to do so?

Volkswagen’s Fun Theory campaign got many interesting viral video entries in response to this.  This entire campaign has touched on two important aspects of creativity. First, the assumption that fun or enjoyment is an integral part of creative behavior. In my Creativity workshops or Negotiation classes, I have observed a ‘circular’ relationship between fun and creativity. In other words, when a participant seeks joy, he starts getting ideas that are out of the box. On the other hand, at times, even though seeking joy might not be the main objective, when participants are able to come up with very creative solutions, they always qualify their experience as ‘fun’.

But why did DDB take up the theme of Fun for a Volkswagen theme? Volkswagen had introduced Bluemotion technology in 2006 and wanted to generate widespread interest around that. Bluemotion technology’s theme was that of reducing environmental impact without compromising the joy of driving. Volkswagen asked DDB to design a campaign around a theme. DDB saw that Volkswagen was actually solving a problem, by making it more fun to do. DDB decided to carry out experiments in different spheres of our lives where a problem was solved by making it fun to deal with. DDB’s decision to deal with actual ‘Fun’ videos and not going for traditional advertising paid off. It generated massive interest and in the end DDB rightfully grabbed the Cyber Grand Prix.

Another insight that can be drawn here is the effective use of media in making use of, what can be termed as, ‘social creativity’.  This campaign does show the possibility of using creativity of people in solving a common problem, by being able to create the appropriate platform.

One of the most popular Fun theory experiments is the one, now known as, ‘Piano Stairs’. Here is the video, look at it and enjoy.

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6 thoughts on “Can you solve a problem by making it fun to deal with? – DDB’s Funtheory campaign for Volkswagen

  1. Hi Kandarp! I found it very interesting! and I loved the video. Una gran teoría: solucionar las problemáticas de la vida mediante la diversión. Un saludo!

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