Urbanism is marketing and marketing is urbanism. That could be a leading phrase of this blog. In fact, more and more marketing initiatives take the urban sphere as their canvas while urban plans are communicated as if they’re sun cream or dog food. With their Fun Theory campaign, Volkswagen seems to understand the potential of the daily urban space for marketing purposes. The only thing needed to attract the full attention for your brand is to come up with an unexpected and remarkable project that people can laugh about in public space. In the name of viral advertising (which mostly works on an online basis) the German car producer has created a slide into an underground train station in Berlin, giving people a fast way down.
As Carsten Holler explains in this article, “the slides changed the daily routine of those who experienced them, altering their modes of traveling and their conception of social appropriateness. In the midst of a public space, traveling down a slide like a child in a playground, one loses all sense of control, exactly what one fears in a collective environment”. The initial idea of the Fun Theory was that, making things fun would stimulate good behavior, such as walking the stairs instead of taking the escalator.