Tuesday, June 22, 2010

34: "concept promotion" does not sound fun, but it is -- promise

It's been such a hectic yet non-hectic two weeks. My grandparents from Taiwan moved in for the summer, my grandmother got sick, my grandfather got sick, my dad got sick, my mother is now sick. Four out of six -- I'm probably next.

At any rate, I've been thinking about concept promotion for the past few months. I've decided to finally verbalise and organise these thoughts (and yes, I do mean verbalise and then organise -- please bear with me).

The phrase "concept promotion" makes me sound all high and mighty, but before you begin to judge me, I will qualify my imaginary terminology with a link to a website with all sorts of inspiring ideas -- actually make that two links; check out Colour Me Katie again -- as well as a video which you've probably already seen, since it's been passed around for ages already:

Both Colour Me Katie and Volkswagen's The Fun Theory are about incorporating fun into ordinary aspects of our lives (although the ultimate goal of the Fun Theory is to change people’s behaviours for the better, according to their website). In the past, Volkswagen has used fun and whimsy to encourage people to do stuff like putting their rubbish in rubbish bins, taking the stairs instead of the escalator, and recycling their glass bottles.

I'm super fascinated by this -- using true creativity and real interaction to advocate certain actions and/or ways of thinking, instead of promoting commercial products, places, things, as is typical in most advertising/marketing initiatives you encounter. (Get it now? "Concept promotion"? Yes/No? On second thought, it may be a bit of a sloppy generalisation; I'll be happy to clarify if need be...) It's just all so interesting to me.

I mean, all too often, we resort to new technology, new products, new this, new that, new everything, to resolve problems that we encounter. Why don't we try to nab problems at the source instead? You know, look at human behaviours, the way humans think -- study and understand what it means to be human. And then go from there. (Aside: That's pretty much what simplicity is, isn't it? Understanding the area of interest and extracting the essential? This is why simplicity works.)

Clearly, people like Colour Me Katie (sorry, her name is officially Katie Sokoler, which I've mentioned in a previous post, but she's still "Colour Me Katie" in my head) and Volkswagen get it -- they know that an inherent part of human nature is our affinity towards fun. Sure, you can logically convince someone to do something; you can scare me into exercising, you can tug at my heartstrings and make me donate all my money to your charity, you can leave me with no other choice but to do what you're asking... but when fun is involved, when you make me actually want to do more? Now, that's a horse of a different colour.

P.S. Wow, I feel my Persuasion and Social Influence class slowly creeping up on me again.
P.P.S. I think my until-now-unexpressed-and-subconscious goal has been to use some sort of outdated expression in every single one of my posts. Have you noticed this recurring pattern?
P.P.P.S. Why, yes, I do think I'm British.


  1. i know. i was going to ask why you're spelling it 'colour'

    i LOVE the posts that you write. i like hearing about the things that you do and see. hahaha.