Dynamic Marketing Communiqué

The World’s DEEPEST Bin: Find out how this campaign encouraged a FUN cleaning activity in 2009! [Thursdays: Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing]

October 27, 2022

Miles Everson’s Business Builder Daily speaks to the heart of what great marketers, business leaders, and other professionals need to succeed in advertising, communications, managing their investments, career strategy, and more.

A Note from Miles Everson:

I love Guerrilla Marketing!

According to Jay Conrad Levinson, this marketing strategy is unconventional, engaging, impactful, and easy to execute. Campaigns of this type spark an emotional reaction that enables consumers to effectively remember a brand.

Today, we’ll be sharing with you another fun example of Guerrilla Marketing.

Curious to know what today’s feature is?

Continue reading to learn more about the third installment of this brand’s “The FUN Theory” campaign.

Miles Everson
CEO, MBO Partners
Chairman of the Advisory Board, The I Institute

Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing

In two of our past “Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing” articles, we featured German vehicle manufacturer Volkswagen’s “The FUN Theory” campaign.

The campaign consists of 3 installments conducted in Sweden in 2009.

In the first article, we focused on the Piano Staircase where Volkswagen and marketing agency DDB Stockholm’s campaign team transformed a subway stairs into a large piano.

Stepping on the platform produced a melodic sound similar to Mozart’s masterpieces! Because of that, lots of commuters were intrigued and chose to use the stairs instead of the escalator beside it.

In the second article, we talked about the Bottle Bank Arcade campaign. Here, Volkswagen and DDB Stockholm’s team patterned a bottle bank to a whac-a-mole machine in arcades, enabling the public to play a game while throwing their plastic bottles.

The result?

Lots of people threw their bottles into the bin and had a great time beating previous high scores! Some even collected bags of plastic bottles so they could play longer.

FUN, right?

Today, we’ll feature the third installment of Volkswagen’s “The FUN Theory” campaign, and that is…

The “World’s Deepest Bin!”

Continuing on the theory that “fun changes people’s behaviors for the better,” 
Volkswagen and DDB Stockholm created this guerrilla marketing strategy with the purpose:

“Can we get more people to throw their rubbish in the bin (not on the floor or anywhere else) by making it fun to do?”

Through this tactic, the car brand showed doing the right thing becomes easier and more engaging especially when done happily or when it’s enjoyable.

Let’s take a look at what the campaign team did in this guerrilla marketing stunt:

In October 2009, DDB Stockholm’s staff borrowed one of the trash bins placed at a park in Sweden. They then placed a sound system inside it as part of their plan.

The sound system had a built-in motion sensor. Every time it detected movement, a falling sound was created and lasted for a few seconds, making it seem like the bin was extremely deep.


At the end of the sound effect, a crashing sound was made to give an impression that it took a while for the trash to reach the bottom of the bin.


Once the “World’s Deepest Bin” was all set, the campaign team placed it back at the park to wow passersby.

Now, for the main highlight of the show…

As the “World’s Deepest Bin” stood at the park, lined up with other ordinary bins, unsuspecting passersby drew near to throw their trash.


Did you think these people simply walked away after doing that?

Well, they actually thought so too, but that’s not what happened. Just when they were about to leave, the falling and crashing sounds were activated, stopping them on their tracks.

Huh? Where did those sounds come from?

As passersby looked around searching for the source of the sound, they realized it was coming from the bin. Out of curiosity, some of these people went nearer the bin and even peeked inside to see what’s going on, not caring about getting in contact with germs.

Many of those who encountered the “World’s Deepest Bin” were amazed by the unexpectedness of the campaign. Even those who didn’t have anything to throw heard the falling and crashing sounds, and paused what they were doing.

video of this guerrilla marketing stunt was uploaded on YouTube on October 26, 2009.

Was Volkswagen’s “World’s Deepest Bin” campaign effective?

Those who interacted with the extraordinary bin firsthand had fun throwing their trash and hearing the sound effects. They also talked about their experiences with their peers, thereby increasing the reach of Volkswagen’s guerrilla marketing strategy.

What else?

The bin effectively encouraged people to throw their garbage properly. Some even picked up other people’s trash just for the pleasure of hearing the falling and crashing sounds again and again!

Below are the results of the guerrilla marketing stunt:

  • During the launch day of the campaign, the “World’s Deepest Bin” collected a total of 72 kilograms of garbage. That’s a 41% increase in the usual amount of trash thrown in an ordinary bin.
  • Local and international newspapers made this third installment of Volkswagen’s “The FUN Theory” a global topic of discussion.
  • In just 4 days, the “World’s Deepest Bin” campaign video on YouTube garnered over 1 million views.
  • The marketing strategy won the following awards:
  • 3 Gold awards and 1 Outdoor Grand Prix award at the Eurobest 2010 Awards
  • 1 Silver Lion and 1 Cyber Grand Prix award at the Cannes Lions Awards in 2010 
  • 1 Silver award at The One Show Awards in 2010

Congratulations, Volkswagen and DDB Stockholm! These numbers and awards show the “World’s Deepest Bin” was a hit and supported the theory that “fun changes people’s behaviors for the better!

You might be wondering why Volkswagen tackled public health and environment-friendly activities in its “The FUN Theory” campaign when in reality, the products the brand sells—cars—are one of the contributors of carbon emissions, which are harmful to one’s health and the environment.

Here’s the thing: One of the reasons why the company created “The FUN Theory” campaign in 2009 was to promote its BlueMotion technology, which was—and still is—installed in Volkswagen cars.

This technology helps improve the cars’ fuel efficiency and reduce carbon emissions, thereby positioning Volkswagen vehicles as good choices when buying a new car.

Besides, the brand has a rich history of being a practical, family-friendly, fun, and exciting choice for consumers.

… and by creating “The FUN Theory” campaign, Volkswagen rebranded itself as a fun, exciting, AND eco-friendly company.

We hope the “World’s Deepest Bin” inspired you to generate your own engaging ideas for your brand’s marketing!

Think outside of the box! Start conceptualizing marketing campaigns or strategies that will compel your target market to act on your call-to-action HAPPILY.

Are you ready to join in on the FUN?

(This article is from The Business Builder Daily, a newsletter by The I Institute in collaboration with MBO Partners.)

About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Thursdays: Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing”

Jay Conrad Levinson (1984) said that Guerrilla Marketing “works because it’s simple to appreciate, easy to execute, and inexpensive.”

Guerrilla Marketing is unconventional.

Looking beyond the traditional ways of advertising, marketers, and advertisers need to spice things up in order for their brand to have campaigns that not only make an impact but also stick to their target market’s mind.

Guerrilla Marketing usually aims to have direct contact with consumers.

This type of direct contact should spark an emotional reaction that leads to consumers effectively remembering the brand.

It’s about making a big impression and making that impression last a long time (if not forever).

Guerrilla Marketing can be inexpensive.

The effect of this is being able to create a buzz around the brand, and the strategy used to market it. Almost everything is passed around through word-of-mouth.

Word-of-mouth is one of the greatest outcomes and it usually doesn’t cost anything.

This is every business’ or brand’s dream!

Every Thursday, we publish tips, examples, and other useful content on unconventional ways of marketing and promotion.

Learn more about how to grab your target market’s attention and make an amazing first and lasting impression without having to spend a lot of money.

Businesses don’t really need to spend much for a guerrilla campaign. You do not need a big budget to be successful. You just need creativity and a good imagination.

Hope you’ve found this week’s guerrilla marketing insight interesting and helpful.

Stay tuned for next Thursday’s Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing!


Kyle Yu
Head of Marketing
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities
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