by Jonathan Marshall
To encourage people to take the staircase instead of the escalator, Volkswagen converted a set of steps at the Odenplan subway station in Stockholm into working piano keys. DDB Stockholm, the agency behind the campaign, considers these mediums to be effective Stunt or Ambient advertising. The idea is to get people talking about those crazy piano stairs in the subway, or the weird whistling trash can – word of mouth.
These are just two of the many efforts that appear on the carmaker’s Rolighetsteorin.se or “Theory of Fun” website, which showcases efforts to get people to change by simply making things more fun. Additionally, the ideas are centered around activities that are not normally fun but still productive – like encouraging people to get more exercise by choosing to walk up stairs instead of an escalator, as well as by throwing away their trash.
Volkswagen already has a lot of brand recognition, they don’t need to get their name out there or be cornered into a specific advertising approach. Generally, the bigger and more recognizable the brand, the more potential creative slack the advertising agency has to experiment with new mediums.