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11/10/2009 by

Volkswagen’s Viral Video Serie: The Fun Theory

In September, Volkswagen launched, an creative initiative to test if fun could change the behavior of people. The campaign has become a huge success in the last couple of days with a tremendous amount of views for the videos that Volkswagen subtly seed with this campaign.


Read on for the full statistics on the campaign and my personal view on this already strong marketing case in social media.

Last Friday, Niels wrote the following summary, here on ViralBlog:

With this new campaign, developed by DDB Stockholm, Volkswagen turned a subway staircase in Stockholm, Sweden into a giant piano as part of their ‘Theory of Fun’ campaign. The effort is just one stunt that appears on the carmaker’s website, which showcases efforts to get people to change by simply making things more fun. The Giant Piano clip got over 500,000 views on YouTube in just over two weeks.

The videos are aiming to change peoples lazy behavior by showing them the fun side of acting environmental responsible. As for the carmaker’s own contribution, “Volkswagen’s answer to the theory will be presented at a later stage on a separate website amongst other media,” says DDB Stockholm creative director Andreas Dahlqvist. “The site will display their whole range of environment technologies and cars—many, many fun ways to do something for the environment.”

Let’s take a look at the already launched videos:

Piano Staircase

YouTube Preview Image
The video received 1.200.000+ views in 4 days. Plus various copies with over 500.000 views. Minor detail: The original Swedish version – Pianotrappan – – “only” got 680.000+ views in 20 days.

The World’s Deepest Bin

YouTube Preview Image
This video received a bit less views, 88.000 views in 4 days. Minor detail: The original Swedish version – Världens djupaste soptunna – – “only” got 129.000+ views in 20 days.

About the platform

The platform bundles the videos and encourages people to submit their own ideas. The winner will be granted with a cash prize of 2500 euros. I sure do hope that Volkswagen promotes these actions and let people vote, share and encourage others with micro interactions. This way, the behavior change also comes from the people within.

Statistics on the videos

Lets take a look at the conversation market. What did the campaign do to the conversations? To check this out, we’ll have a look at Twitter.

Trendistic statistics on the word “piano”

It’s incredible, when you look at the statistics, you can see a minor trend on the word piano, just shortly after the launch of the videos. This means that people started to talk more about pianos then before the campaign. Next to all the regular conversations about pianos, a lot of the ones including a link direct to the advertisement page. Source: Twitter Search.

Trendistic statistics on the word “fun”
Another nice detail is that Volkswagen is being associated with fun a lot on Twitter. Looking at these results, you can see that Volkswagen is being mentioned several times per hour with the word fun and a link to the campaign.

YouTube statistics on Piano Staircase

Unfortunately, the extended statistics have been disabled for both the Swedish YouTube videos, so we couldn’t find out whether these videos spread globally as well as the English ones. However, the English versions did show the extended statistics. Let’s check out the ones from the piano stairs video to see the popularity in a global perspective.

YouTube statistics on the video: viral growth

Even though the image above is from such a short period, its still incredible to see the large growth in such a short time. Also the amount of ratings, comments and favorites show people like the video.

YouTube statistics on the video: global reach

When you look at the global reach, you can see the video has worldwide popularity, which is an interesting fact. Humor and interests aren’t human aspects that have the same values on every person on this planet. It’s good to see the video has been liked in America, Australia and Russia.

Comparisation with Ray Ban

Earlier this year in April, I wrote about Ray-Bans success with their Never Hide campaign. The strong viral videos, starting with the videos of “Guy Catches Glasses With Face” from NeverHideFilms had a few strong elements that made it a viral success.

Looking at the aspects of the Volkswagen videos, it leaves no doubt that the Never Hide films gave some good inspiration to DDB Stockholm, the agency behind the films. The films are also not based on the core message of the brand, they could be a start of consistent line of communication, are highly entertaining, aren’t just about the product and could have been done by average Joe.

Could it be that Volkswagen is following Ray-Ban’s successful footsteps by creating successful, fun and creative videos to feed the entertainment market? I certainly love this campaign of Volkswagen and hope they’ll receive the viral success they deserve!

Make sure to also check out the article on, which includes an interview with the creative director from DDB Stockholm and take a look at the fun behind the scene photos on Flickr.

Credits for the header image: kj.vogelius.


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