The Fun Theory
By Mike Ballaban
Ask most experts about the main problem facing global warming, and it’s not the lack of legislative action that’s the problem. Nor is it corporate profits. Or NGOs. Rather, it’s people. People have trouble relating to the problem of climate change when it’s on such a global scale. People have trouble changing their lifestyles when it’s so easy to blame someone else. People don’t want to give up driving their cars, and people don’t want to give up taking the energy-sucking escalator over the stairs. So how do you get people to combat climate change? VW seems to have an idea.
VW calls it “The Fun Theory.” That is, by getting people to change their behavior while at the same time convincing them that they’re having fun, you can fundamentally alter the way people live their lives. In this case, VW turned a staircase next to an escalator into a giant piano (reminiscent of that classic scene in Big) and found that in inspired 66% more people to use the stairs.
Using what we know now, we can implement the results. The conversation now should not be focused on “how can we get people to change themselves?” But rather, “how can we get people to have fun?”