Like pretty much everyone, I’m a sucker for a good viral video.
I’m not talking about good viral videos. I’m talking about great ones. The ones with that “it” factor that’s hard to describe, but you know it when you see it.
Well, the other day I came across one such video:
Called Piano Stairs, this European clip has achieved over 1 million views on Youtube.
And if you watched all the way to the end you saw it has corporate backing: Volkswagen.
Like all great sneakily corporate viral videos, this one does not beat you over the head with a brand or logo. In fact, it is quite subtle. You don’t see the Volkswagen logo until the 1:45 mark.
After watching it a few times I did a little investigating (if you call google-ing “Volkswagen” + “The Fun Theory” investigating) and found out that it was part of a larger campaign called… you guessed it, The Fun Theory.
According to Mashable.com this project was done by ad agency DDB Stockholm and captured a series of experiments on video to find out if making the world more fun can improve people’s behavior.
As it turns out, converting subway stairs into piano keys straight out of the movie “Big” increases their use by 66%.
So far, this is one of two experiments available for viewing on the Fun Theory website. The second asks whether making a trash can sound like a 50ft-deep well will make people pick up their litter.
A third teaser video features an upcoming experiment that explores turning a bottle recycling center into an arcade game.
By associating their name with positive social experiments, VW is improving its corporate image among the young, pro-exercise demographic (did I mention this was done in Europe). This campaign has all the ear makings of a groundswell, which is something I can attach my wagon to.
So keep em coming Volkswagon.
Next time try it in America though… we need all the exercise we can get.