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Volkswagen Uses “The Fun Theory” to Promote Behavior Change


An initiative of Volkswagen, The Fun Theory proposes that “something as simple as fun is the easiest way to change people’s behavior for the better.” The idea might be tongue-in-cheek social marketing from the car company, but their videos like “Piano Staircase” should be giving the public health world pause. In the German experiment, reportedly, 66% more people chose to take the musical stairs over the escalator.

The Fun Theory has also given awards to the ideas and inventions that help prove the fun theory – that fun is the easiest way to change people’s behavior for the better. We love the award entries like the Pinball Exercise Machine and Fighting Germs with Fun for showing us how a little fun can be applied to serious problems like obesity and flu control – and for reminding us that healthy behaviors can be fun, too.

Pinball Exercise Machine Pinball Exercise Machine slide show

Fighting Germs with Fun Fighting Germs with Fun video

Xanthi Scrimgeour, MHEd, MCHES

About the Author

Since co-founding CommunicateHealth in 2009, Xanthi has been driving company strategy and operations, transforming the organization into a nationally recognized multimillion-dollar consulting firm. Under her leadership, CommunicateHealth has been recognized as one of the fastest growing companies by Entrepreneur and Inc. magazines 3 years in a row. A veteran public health advocate, Xanthi spent 20+ years working on the front lines with state and local health agencies. She draws on this experience to serve a diverse client portfolio that spans Fortune 500 companies and community-based nonprofits.

More posts by Xanthi Scrimgeour, MHEd, MCHES
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