By Eleftheria Parpis
Volkswagen, "The Fun Theory"
DDB, Stockholm, Sweden
This year, subway stairs and garbage cans just might be the keys to winning gold. While using the two "platforms" for messaging is not new, "The fun theory" campaign from VW not only approached them with an exceptionally playful spirit, but inspired people to act socially responsible. To promote VW's environmentally friendly technologies, stairs near a subway escalator in Stockholm were transformed into working piano keys and bins projected cartoon-like sound effects when garbage was deposited. The result? Many traded their lazy, mechanical ways to bound up steps to make music with their feet. And trash hit its mark, not the floor, suggesting that people are more likely to act socially responsible if doing so coincides with having fun. Videos capturing people interacting with the stunts were distributed on Web sites including YouTube, and the piano demo became a viral hit that helped drive consumer entries to an online contest soliciting the public's own "fun theory" experiments.
Jury president: Laura Desmond, CEO, Starcom MediaVest Group. Entries: 2,162.