When you go to museums it usually involves learning about something or someone else. The Exploratorium’s new Science of Sharing exhibits are something completely different. You actually learn about yourself. Will you like what you learn about “you”?
Ponder that, people.
Do you act for the common good, or your own good?
Over the past few months, we partnered with the Exploratorium to promote the exhibits to the entire Bay area. But first we had to learn everything we could about The Science of Sharing. We were taught that similar to chemistry and physics, there’s also a science behind human thought and behavior. The Science of Sharing exhibits take societal challenges—like trust, cooperation and competition—and turns them into fun, problem-solving activities and experiences.
During our concept phase, lightning struck. The aim of the exhibits is to generate discussion and provoke thought around why we do the things we do, right? So why not create ads that do just that? Get Bay Area residents to ponder their behavior right in their native environment.
This billboard was placed at the 101/80 ramp in San Francisco, a hotbed for road rage.
From bus shelters to digital billboards to coffee sleeves, we sure got people pondering. The units even featured a hashtag (#SocialDilemma) so they could weigh in on why they do the things they do. But we went way beyond just ads. We also made the discussion mobile by taking over San Francisco MUNI trains and turning them into “Conversation Cars.”
Our Conversation Cars turned passengers into ponderers.
Each Conversation Car posed questions that were relevant to a rider’s experience and got people contemplating while commuting. Do you put your bags on the seat, or at your feet? Should you just sit there, or is it okay to start talking to strangers? Is MUNI a call-free zone, or do you blab loudly and incessantly on your phone during the entire trip, annoying riders that are even three cars away? (Not that we’re judging.)
We also posed San Francisco denizens with perhaps one of the most pressing dilemmas of our times…especially in a city where the dogs outnumber the children.
We created quite a movement.
A guerrilla-style marketing attack in the form of hundreds of pieces of fake dog poop scattered in San Francisco parks and on city streets was launched last week. Each “land mine” featured a sign asking passers-by if they’d clean up after their dogs if no one was around. The stunt was so attention-grabbing that our plastic poop propaganda pieces became collector’s items as people scooped them up and carried them home.
Also running are the following radio spots we produced for Pandora. There’s no judgment here.
The Science of Sharing exhibits are open now at the Exploratorium, so head over to Pier 15 and get baffled by your own behavior.
And the next time you’re merging onto the Bay Bridge, eating a curry dish on BART, or taking Fido out to do his business, don’t be surprised if you hear a little voice in your head asking, “Why do you do what you do?”
(For those keeping score, the answer to the question in the headline of this post is: BOTH.)