In a brilliant example of how a relatively staid brand can draw attention to itself in a fun and innovative way Volkswagen Sweden have demonstrated that the sensible, responsible option doesn't have to be the boring one. Using a video on YouTube picked up by both Business Week and Advertising Age, Volkswagen have achieved just that by anonymously installing a giant working piano keyboard on the stairs of a subway station in Stockholm.
The video clip illustrates the experiment's success – traffic on the stairs rose 66% whilst the keyboard was in place – with commuters actually doing a double take on their way to the escalator in order to use the stairway. The company has now seamlessly followed up the experiment by linking this project, and two other equally innovative ones like it, to their environmentally friendly cars with a dedicated site, The Fun Theory.
More than anything, this initiative should be applauded for the fact that its uniqueness has gained Volkswagen worldwide coverage – the videos are fast becoming an internet phenomenon, with over 2 million hits on this video's YouTube page. I wouldn't be surprised to soon see the appearance of homemade copycat videos.
What a great way to turn a worthy, slightly dull feature of a brand into something engaging, exciting and powerful.