Shock or Fun?

DDB’s 9/11, Plane Stupid’s polar bears, the anti-smoking adverts on TV – they’re all out to shock us in to changing our behaviour. But while they do cause shock, controversy, and countless conversations; do they actually change what we do?

On his blog, Adliterate, Richard Huntingdon says, “If you really want people to have a change of heart rather than simply a change of mind, you are far better off generating a deep emotional reaction to the brand. We use shock because it touches people at a fundamental level and spurs them into action not because it gets us a few cheap headlines and the censure of the conservative elements in society.”

But when has shock as an emotion really worked? Does making us feel guilty or naughty really make us want to change?

What about joy as an emotion? What about making things fun? What about making us feel a deep emotional reaction to a brand, like, happiness – is this more likely to change our actions? I like to think so, and hope that more companies use this simple, honest, just plain nice emotion to encourage us to change. Just like Volkswagen does with The Fun Theory:

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