How to use creativity to get people to act

How to use creativity to get people to act
If advertising is the blockbuster movie, then activation is the theme park.

If advertising is the blockbuster movie, then activation is the theme park.

I’ve been invited to write another article for Ogilvy’s Content + Pervasive Creativity channel on FastCompany’s Co.Create. This time I introduce ‘Behaviour Design’, the ‘activation’ approach to creativity that is intrinsically different from advertising.

A bold red button standing in the middle of the street comes with a sign that invites passersby to “push to add drama.” When one cyclist does, a Hollywood scene unfolds promoting a television network.

A staircase resembling a piano keyboard nudges people into exercising instead of using the escalator.

A vending machine that stands more than 11 feet off the ground challenges friends to climb on each other’s shoulders to get a Coke.

These are just a few great examples of brand communications aimed to produce a physical response. It sounds kind of simplistic, but getting people to act is a big part of any good activation idea. We use the word “activation” loosely here to describe a vast array of practices, disciplines and channels. It’s often paired with promotion, experiential marketing, ambient work, guerrilla events, shopper marketing, vending machines, sampling demonstrations, and the like.
Regional Executive Creative Director Geometry Global Asia Pacific