staircase-piano-keys.jpg Can we get more people to throw their trash in the bin by making it fun? Can fun encourage more people to sort recyclables? Will more people exercise if it’s fun… Volkswagen says yes, through a set of experiments in a new project called The Fun Theory.

Documenting the effects, their whimsical YouTube videos show that changing people’s behavior is easy — when it’s fun.

The first experiment showed that subway riders’ use of a staircase dramatically rose 66% over normal when the stairs played a tune.

The second experiment showed that people would actually pick up trash surrounding a public bin just so they could dump it, when a fanciful sound effect played every time the litter entered the can. Almost double the amount of trash was collected compared with the bin up the street.

Stay tuned for Volkswagen’s next stunt. They are creating an arcade game that will make it more fun for you to sort recyclables… Watch all the videos below, or at Take part in a competition to find fun ways to change other behavior. Entries are being accepted for a contest that ends November 15.

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