By Sven Larsen (@Zemoga)
Volkswagen’s Swedish ad agency created The Fun Theory website, stating: “This site is dedicated to the thought that something as simple as fun is the easiest way to change peoples behaviour for the better.
The point is to rejoice in using fun to improve peoples actions. Two examples:
- A speed-camera lottery – speeders get charged, and their money helps fund prizes that speed-obeyers can win – lowers average driving speed by 22%.
- Turning the stairs leading out of an underground train station into “Big-style piano keys makes commuters abandon the escalator and bound up and down the steps (video above).
Its one of those ideas that seems unrealistically idealistic at first, but is encouragingly practical in execution. It really does make sense: if you give people an immediate positive motivation to change their behavior, theyre going to be more likely to do it.
Most of these cases not only give you a bit of a game to play yourself, but they also encourage social interaction – two basic motivations for any person…
…or really, any animal. Its positive reinforcement. If you have a dog, this is going to sound very familiar. You dont just yell when they do the wrong thing, you make them happy when they do the right thing, right? Why would we want any less for ourselves?
And yet, look what weve tried in the pharmaceutical industry to change behavior: both our own, and that of our customers. Weve tried motivating our employees with penalties or financial incentives, championing innovation or process improvements, and hopping on the bandwagon of just about every new business book or methodology. We talk about our patients in terms of “improving compliance or “building a customer base.
But how often do we make life more fun for our employees or our customers?
At Pixels & Pills, we are obviously are big believers in fun, and we dont think our clients or our customers are any different than we are, or should be treated any differently.
This is why were such big believers in games and gaming – and why some of you already are too.
Lets not just try to make our work product hit the metaphoric marks while driving the speed limit: Lets try to do it popping a wheelie with playing cards in our spokes and streamers in our handlebars:
1. Lets make exercise fun.
2. Lets make monitoring symptoms fun.
3. Lets make taking medicine fun.
4. Lets make beating addictions fun.
Lets make life more fun for all of us – and healthier, too.