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Piano Staircase – Volkswagen VW

Though known for being a car company, Volkswagen has been known for extending their brand beyond the automotive industry. One way they were able to do so was by creating a concept called “the fun theory” in which they attempt to pivot people’s behavior by adding an element of fun. For this experiential marketing example, the Volkswagen team cleverly created “piano” stairs in a subway stop in Germany, right next to the escalator. This led commuters to choose the stairs, playing their own tunes as they went up and down each step. As a result, 66% more people chose the stairs as opposed to the escalator.

On the surface, it may seem very odd for a car company to use musical steps as a marketing tactic. However, the reason this experiential strategy worked so well was because it resonated with a simple human emotion: having fun. When a company is able to associate their brand with an emotion as pure as fun, they’ve already won over the customer.

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Main takeaway: The experiential strategy does not always have to involve the product. As long as the result is a powerfully positive brand association, the strategy is worth it every time.

 

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