Changing behavior by adding F-U-N.

Posted by on Oct 28, 2011
Changing behavior by adding F-U-N.

Marketers often try to motivate consumers by saying something is the right thing to do. Or the smart thing to do. A recent campaign shows that you can get much better results by adding another element: the fun thing to do.

We’ll start by focusing on one case history: VW in Sweden. It’s a classic campaign that started in 2009 and continues to this day. If you’ve seen the work already, it’s worth re-visiting. If you haven’t been to Stockholm recently, this should be new to you.

Here’s the back story: VW was introducing a line of environmentally-friendly cars. They believed that more people would choose “green” cars if they believed they were fun to drive.

So, VW set up a group of experiments. The user had a choice of two experiences: a standard experience or a similar experience taken to a new level of fun. (At this point, just watch the videos. A video is worth a thousand words.)

The results? Metrics showed a dramatic change in behavior. People were much more likely to do something environmentally responsible or healthy, if there was an added layer of fun.

How can fun help any business?

At HY Connect, we have years of experience in green marketing. We’ve learned there is a select group of people who are motivated by environmental concerns. But to reach everyone else –– a bigger audience –– green marketers need to add another element: a reward, a sense of fun.

What about other areas? Financial marketing is one. Companies try to get consumers to save, or invest in a 401K, by telling you it’s the right thing to do. Creating an online saving experience that is fun and rewarding would create stronger participation. As demonstrated in this seat belt example, the formula can be simple: if you want this reward, do this action first.

Another extension is capturing user name, address and email information on a website. Consumers are sometimes reluctant to fill out the form because the process can be a hassle. But we could build a valuable database and get much higher participation by rewarding the user in some way.

In an era of belt tightening, it can be hard to be the champion of “fun” in a corporate boardroom. But as the VW videos show, and the metrics back up, giving your audiences a reward –– getting them to smile, making the user experience a little more fun –– can deliver serious benefits.