The best recycling ad I’ve ever seen

Posted by | · · · · · | The Hunter Blog | 1 Comment

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Lots of communications asking for lifestyle change use emotional blackmail to inspire change: Polar Bears on ice are a good example. Our previous post about Chris Jordan’s Midway Island photographs of dead and decaying albatross chicks with stomachs full of plastic is another. But they don’t always work as well intended – they focus too much on far-off non-personally-attributable effects and not enough on close-to-home personally-achievable actions.

The Fun Theory is an evolving Swedish campaign for VW that expresses ‘fun’ in real-world public events: turning dreary train station stairs into a massive piano, or a public bin that creates the effect of rubbish falling into a deep hole. They’ve now made a Bottle Bank Arcade Machine – a recycling bin for Sweden’s less frequently recycled glass bottles (they don’t get money back for recycled glass, unlike plastics).


What a wonderful, simple, and engaging way to get people to do the right thing, rather than be sad for a few seconds imagining the effects of not doing the right thing.

“We believe that the easiest way to change people’s behaviour for the better is by making it fun to do. We call it The fun theory.”

It’s a campaign that uses a part of the behavioural economics quiver, and it’s all the better for it.

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Oliver Payne is author of the behavioural communication book Inspiring Sustainable Behaviour: 19 Ways To Ask For Change published by Routledge, available in most countries.
Also, Join the London Behavioural Economics Network on Facebook
and the London Meetup group for notifications, too.
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