There are many serious issues facing us as a world. Brands and their marketing have a big responsibility to contribute solutions.

Marketing departments are, or should be, at the heart of understanding the external, human aspects of a business in the context of the market. Marketing teams, whether they know it or not, use the tools of the psychologist to change perceptions and behaviours.

Never before is an understanding of “the human” more relevant or needed. We need more debate, we need deeper conversations, across government, business and with the people to create new ideas that can change our lives for the better.

So how can we get together to address these serious issues… having fun.

There is nothing quite like tapping into our abundant ability to have fun. Time and time again psychologists show us that fun is a rich source of engagement. Whether that’s sharing a laugh with friends, an email joke, a bizarre YouTube video or taking part in a new fun experience. Fun can be a powerful source of good and is a fast track to trust because it provides a valuable and reciprocal emotional transaction.

But marketers and their brands don’t use fun that often. Guy Murphy in his Battle of the Big Thinking presentation in 2009 made this point powerfully.

TheFunTheory has used a range of approaches with fun at their heart to change behaviours. One of the most famous is the Piano stairs experiment.

Innocent and the Big Knit initiative produces a social good and always gives me a smile when I see the little hats on their bottles on the supermarket shelves.

One of the fastest growth stories ever Zynga estimated to be worth $7-9bn has leveraged the power of social gaming to engage and entertain 100s of millions of users with games such as Farmville and Cityville.

One of my co-authors at Jon Alexander over at the National Trust has been part of the team who  have recently launched MyFarm which is a co-operative approach to farming through the internet – sort of like a live Farmville. It’s fresh, engaging and fun.

How is your business using fun?

Thanks for reading,


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Why Should Anyone Buy from You?: Earn Customer Trust to Drive Business Success (Financial Times Series)

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Published by

Justin Basini

Entrepreneur, author of Why Should Anyone Buy From YOU?, blogger (, business, brand and marketing thinker and do-er, husband and dad

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