The Fun theory: Reflection module 2.1
The Volkswagen advertising campaign is interesting on so many levels.
Firstly as an approach to selling an environmentally friendly car, it is an interesting approach. Instead of selling the car they have chosen to focus on the thinking behind changing human behaviour and then subtly add the information about the car.
However on another level it just shows how the theory of fun can be used to change behaviour.
All 3 experiments presented show how game factors are used to influence behaviour.
The major factor in all 3 experiments is the use of fun. Adding this element to a mundane activity makes people smile and makes the mundane activity, be it climbing stairs or putting litter in a bin, attractive.
But there are other obvious game factors at play!
The sounds used on the staircase allow the activity to become creative. You notice how people experiment with the sounds, enjoy the novelty and start to interact with others. There is no win or lose element but just the anticipation of what the next sound will be.
The bin used the concept of developing anticipation. People didn’t know what sound they would receive on depositing their litter. Anything novel and not completely predictable seems to be attractive.
The Bottle bank experiment, on the other hand, has the classic game factors of accumulating points, and an element of winning, supported by sound effects and a bit of guessing.
Gamifying these activities creates new variations on routine activities.
VW are using the hook of the social experiments to attract readers to their website where they take the opportunity to tell them about the car. The social involvement in the blog and the competition, resulting from the gaming experience( The FUN Theory) draws people into the more traditional literacy of offering text based information.